Two Charleroi Area High School students charged in accidental shooting

April 2, 2014
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From left, Shane Michael Oravec and Demetrius Daquan Ward
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Shane Michael Oravec
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Demetrius Daquan Ward

CHARLEROI – In a dramatic scene that played out last month, two Charleroi Area High School students rang the doorbell to the local police station while one of them screamed for help, saying he had just been shot.

Police treated Shane Michael Oravec, 18, who began to go into shock about 2:30 a.m. March 16 after an officer noticed wounds to Oravec’s chest and left arm and applied pressure to the chest wound, court records revealed.

“Please don’t let me die Officer (Mike) Leasure,” Oravec said to police, who were initially told the teenager had been shot in a drive-by shooting, according to the criminal affidavit filed after the story fell apart, police said.

Oravec, of North Charleroi, and his companion that morning, Demetrius Daquan Ward, 18, of Dunlevy, were arrested at their high school Wednesday and charged with making false reports to police and other offenses, and lodged in Washington County jail, each on $50,000 bond set by District Judge Larry Hopkins.

Police were initially told Oravec had been shot by a rear-seat passenger in a blue Buick that passed them as they knocked at the door of 412 Fallowfield Ave., a residence near the police station and under video surveillance.

Later in the day, police received an anonymous tip that Ward had shot Oravec, who was being treated at Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, for a bullet wound that grazed his chest and the injury to his arm.

Police then checked the video, didn’t see a blue Buick in the area at the time of the shooting and called Ward into the station.

Police said Ward then told a different story, that he accidentally shot Oravec with a pistol after he “pulled the slide, no bullet ejected and then the gun went off,” police stated in the affidavit.

Ward allegedly said someone threw the gun away in the 400 block of Long Alley. A search of the trash in that alley did not produce the weapon, police said.

Ward also was charged Wednesday with two counts of aggravated assault and simple assault, while Oravec faces an additional charge of hindering apprehension, court records show.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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