Warren Man Facing Stolen Firearms Charges in Connection with New Year’s Shooting

March 25, 2024

WARREN, Pa. – A Warren man is facing multiple felony charges concerning a shooting death that occurred in a North Warren residence just after midnight on New Year’s Day.

According to online court records, Zachary Wells, 20 of Warren, is facing two counts of Receiving Stolen Property (Felony 2) and one count of Tampering With/Fabricating Physical Evidence (Misdemeanor 2) following an investigation into the incident.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Conewango Township police were dispatched to the area of 11 Vine Street in North Warren at approximately 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2024 for a “disturbance.” Upon arrival, police said, a woman answered the door and informed police that a 17-year-old male had “shot himself in an up-stair bedroom.”

Police said they encountered Wells exiting his bedroom and yelling, “No, don’t come up.” After detaining Wells, police entered the bedroom and found the juvenile “laying on (Wells’) bed covered in blood,” according to the affidavit. Police said they found blood on the bed and a handgun under the juvenile’s arm.

“It was later learned that (the juvenile) died from a single gunshot wound to the head,” according to the affidavit.

Police said they found a second handgun along with “an AR-15 style rifle” in Wells’ bedroom closet. Police said the autopsy determined that the bullet that killed the juvenile was fired from the handgun in the closet—which was 5 – 10 feet away from the body—and not the gun found under the body.

After being detained, police said Wells told them that he, the juvenile, and another individual were in Wells’ bedroom “f–ing around” with the handguns which the juvenile had allegedly brought to the residence “numerous times in the past.”

According to the affidavit, Wells and the juvenile knew the guns were stolen and, on previous occasions, Wells had insisted that the guns remain in his bedroom when leaving the residence “to avoid being found to be in possession of stolen firearms on the street.”

Three cell phones were also seized which, according to police, contained “multiple videos and pictures showing the handgun(s) in the possession of (Wells) while in his own bedroom on Vine St.”

Police said the investigation determined that one of the handguns had been stolen from a camp in Marienville and the other had been stolen from a vehicle parked in North Warren (that gun was reported stolen in October 2023).

Wells was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Laura Bauer Thursday night and is being held in the Warren County Jail on $100,000 bail, according to court records.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 3 at 1 p.m.

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