LANCASTER, Pa.–Two men are being charged in connection with the May 30 shooting death of 22-year-old Tyreek Gardner in Lancaster City, according to police.
Brian Paltan, 21, and Ryan Rivera, 21, both of Lancaster, are each charged with criminal homicide, conspiracy and firearms not to be carried without a license. Rivera is also charged with possession of firearm prohibited. Paltan is in Lancaster County Prison without bail and Rivera is currently at SCI-Camp Hill on an unrelated state parole detainer.
Police also charged Daniel Pineda, 21, of Lancaster with two counts of hindering apprehension and providing false information. He is currently being held at Lancaster County Prison on an unrelated probation violation.
The charges come after police learned Gardner was confronted by Rivera and Paltan along the 300 block of East Fulton Street in Lancaster City on May 30. Investigators say during the altercation Paltan attempted to punch Gardner, but Gardner ran from them and the pair gave chase.
Rivera was seen receiving some type of communication on his phone. A short time later–surveillance video shows a Volkswagon Passat pulling up and the pair getting into the vehicle driven by an unknown male, police said. Surveillance video shows the Passat driving in pursuit of Gardner and shots being fired as they caught up to Gardner on the 500 block of East Chestnut Street, according to police reports.
Investigators say no other vehicles or pedestrians were in the area at that time.
The Passat seen in surveillance video was found to be registered and owned by Brian Paltan, police said. A search of the vehicle located a 9mm handgun in the trunk– loaded with ammunition which matched shell casings recovered at the scene, according to police reports.
During reviews of surveillance videos, police recognized that Pineda had been with Paltan and Rivera moments before they left in the Passat. Pineda was taken into custody on a state parole violation on June 16. In an interview with police, Pineda denied any knowledge of the homicide–even when confronted that he was seen on video in which Pineda was interacting with the suspects shortly before the homicide.
On July 2, police say Pineda called Rivera from Lancaster County Prison, warning Rivera he had to be careful because he was drawing too much attention to himself. Pineda told Rivera not to say too much and that he would tell him more in person when he was released from prison, according to police reports.
The investigation is ongoing and police are still working to figure out who drove the Passat during the moments leading up to and during the homicide of Gardner.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Tom Ginder at 717-735-3345 or Lancaster City-County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-322-1913.