Penn State-bound athlete shot dead days before departure to start freshman year

iStock/Thinkstock
iStock/Thinkstock

(PHILADELPHIA) — A freshman set to begin his college athletic career at Penn State next week has been shot dead in his home city of Philadelphia.

Kristian Marche, a track and field athlete, was shot in the head on his own street Monday night, according to Philadelphia police.

Marche, 18, was found in a back driveway and taken to a hospital where he died, authorities said.

“There is no suspect description at this time,” police said Thursday.

“We believe this was targeted. We have no reason to believe that this was a random act,” Philadelphia Police Lt. Norman Davenport told ABC Philadelphia station WPVI-TV. “There was nothing in Kristian’s past that would suggest that this crime should have occurred. That’s why we’re making this appeal because this case needs to be solved.”

Marche was an incoming Penn State freshman on a partial scholarship with the track and field program, a Penn State Athletics spokesman told ABC News.

He was set to start classes next Monday.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy; another young person taken from his loved ones far too early,” Penn State Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with Kristian’s family and friends; we will do what we can to support them and our track and field students and staff during this very difficult time.”

Jackson Duncan, whose nonprofit helps inner-city high school athletes, told WPVI that his student Marche “did his SATs, went to school, got good grades. He took care of his teammates. The kid did everything right.”

He added: “For him to end like this; it’s heartbreaking.”

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