24-year-old Joseph Howanski was arrested and charged with: Murder and related offenses. (PHILADELPHIA POLICE PHOTO/FACEBOOK/WPVI 6ABC)
24-year-old Joseph Howanski was arrested and charged with: Murder and related offenses. (PHILADELPHIA POLICE PHOTO/FACEBOOK/WPVI 6ABC)

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (YC) — Philadelphia Police formally charged a Marple Newtown High School graduate with murder and related offenses stemming from an incident Wednesday.

Just after 11:40 p.m., Philadelphia Police & Drexel University Police responded to the 3500 block of Lancaster Avenue for a report of a “Disturbance on the Highway,” police tell YC.

24-year-old Joseph Howanski was arrested and charged with: Murder and related offenses. (PHILADELPHIA POLICE PHOTO)
24-year-old Joseph Howanski was arrested and charged with: Murder and related offenses. (PHILADELPHIA POLICE PHOTO)

Just a few moments later the dispatch changed to a “Person with a Gun.”

When police arrived, they noticed the victim, 21-year-old Merlos Mukaj on the highway, suffering from gunshot wounds to the chest.

He was transported to Penn-Presbyterian Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 11:52 p.m.

Police announced charges against Joseph Howanski, a former Delaware County native and graduate from Marple Newtown High School.

“He could only be described as welcoming,” several former Marple grads tell YC. Howanski was known to be very involved in school activities, including plays, sports, and was an honors student.

“Very unexpected,” Aris Tzortzatos told us. “I knew him from band.” Tzortzatos graduated one year before Howanski.


(Reporting by Hong Xie; Editing by Nik Hatziefstathiou)

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