Erie TV news reported:
Quiet, on-time, just a great young American, words used by teachers and school administrators who knew 18-year-old murder victim, Jacob Pushinsky. The rising senior at East High, was a committed member of the Army Jr. ROTC program at the school. Lt. Col. Joe Russell just retired as the Sr. Army Instructor at East High. “Jacob was a wonderful young man, never caused anybody any problems, this is a tremendous tragedy,” said Russell.
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Jacob was known for riding his bicycle everywhere. The tragic shooting in what police say was a robbery over that very bicycle, claimed Jacob’s life. City councilman and East High teacher Bob Merski had Jacob in his homeroom. “Jacob was a very good kid, very quiet…always punctual, always the first one at the door for homeroom every morning. He loved ROTC. He would wear that military outfit and he was impeccably dressed every day, his shoes were shined, every button was buttoned, he was just a quiet kid and a good kid,” Merski said.
Dr. Jay Badams, superintendent of Erie’s Public Schools, spent the day considering if there was any thing the district could have done to predict and prevent the tragedy. “It’s a huge loss of of two students in this particular case and that’s the horror of this rising violence, these were children, people with their whole lives ahead of them,” said Badams. “It’s just extremely frustrating, I think it’s frustrating for our entire community as we try to come to grips with this and try to figure out how do we address the root causes of this kind of violence.”
14 year old Derry Sanders Jr. was charged with criminal homicide, murder, recklessly endangering another person, robbery with inflict of serious bodily injury, possession of an instrument of a crime, firearms not to be carried without a license, and possession of a firearm by a minor all in connection to the homicide of Jacob Pushinsky.