15-year-old Pennsylvania boy charged as adult in fatal shooting of homeless man in the face

A 15-year-old Pennsylvania boy has been charged as an adult with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a homeless man in the face, prosecutors announced.

Jeremiah Waylon Hawkins, 39, was fatally shot Wednesday, one day before Thanksgiving, at Security Plaza on South Hanover Street, the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office said in statement.

The suspect, whom NBC News is not naming as he is a minor, "sought out" Hawkins, who was experiencing homelessness, and the two got into an argument, according to multiple witness interviews and security video.

The suspect "extended his arm toward Hawkins," Hawkins allegedly swung a tire at him to try to knock the gun out of his hand, and the suspect then fired a single shot at Hawkins' face, prosecutors said.

Hawkins fell after the shot, and the suspect fired a second time, dropped the gun and walked away but was detained by bystanders, the statement said.

Pottstown police were dispatched just after noon and found the victim lying on the street with “an obvious gunshot wound to the head.” He was pronounced dead at Pottstown Hospital.

Police found the suspect held by witnesses at the scene, and he was taken into custody. A .40 caliber Smith & Wesson semi-automatic firearm was recovered and determined to belong to the suspect’s father.

An autopsy found Hawkins had been shot once in the side of his face at close range. The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head, and the manner was homicide, prosecutors said.

The suspect was charged with first-degree murder, third-degree murder, possessing a firearm by a minor, possessing an instrument of crime and carrying a firearm without a license.

He was arraigned Nov. 22, and, as no bail is available for the top charge, he was remanded to the Montgomery County Youth Center.

It's not clear whether the suspect has retained an attorney. Online court records show he declined to request a public defender. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Thursday.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com