Friday, April 6, 2012

Rest in Peace, Tyler Winstead

Another family mourns the death of a young family member.

Tyler Winstead, a high honors student in the eighth grade at Wilkes-Barre Area's GAR High School, was shot in front of 117 Hill St., just two houses away from his home at 121 Hill St., where he lived with his grandparents Willie and Carol Golden, just before 7:30 Thursday night.

Tyler was walking with a friend from the Catholic Youth Center on South Washington Street where he played basketball Thursday night when he was shot. Carol Golden said Winstead, her grandson loved playing basketball and video games.

An autopsy on the body of the 14-year-old determined he died from a gunshot wound to the chest, Luzerne County Acting Coroner Bill Lisman said.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Gary Ross ruled Winstead's death a homicide.

The assailant remains at large. Police said they are searching for an older model burgundy Ford Taurus that may be involved in the deadly shooting.

In a prepared statement, Wilkes-Barre Mayor Thomas Leighton stated: "My thoughts and prayers are with Tyler Winstead's family today. This is a tragic incident and as a father of three children myself I cannot begin to imagine how to cope with the loss of a life so young. I want to assure the family and the people of Wilkes-Barre that we will exhaust every resource at our disposal to bring the perpetrator of this crime to justice."

 Neighbor Victoria Bennett remembers Tyler as a polite young student who waved at her as he came home from GAR each day.

"He never caused any trouble. Never. It was two doors down from his house and it was daylight," she said. "It's heartbreaking."

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