Brother arrested as search for fatal shooting suspect continues

Photo courtesy: Dauphin County Judicial Center

STEELTON, Pa. (WHTM) – Crime Stoppers of Dauphin County is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information that leads to the arrest of a Steelton woman accused of fatally shooting her boyfriend over the weekend.

As police continued their search for Jahnaey Chase Monday, neighbors painted a clearer picture of what led up to the shooting that claimed a man’s life.

“Yelling, they were yelling loud,” Alayjah Taylor said, “and then gunshots.”

Taylor lives next door to where the shooting happened on Conestoga Street in Steelton, at the intersection with Bailey Street. She said Chase’s boyfriend was banging on the door.

“It was so loud,” she said, “it sounded like it was our door. So that’s what brought it to our attention.”

Police say Chase, 28, shot her boyfriend, 34-year-old Earl Watlington Jr., in the side of the stomach just before 2 a.m. Sunday. Despite efforts of first responders, Watlington died of that injury.

Jahnaey Chase (submitted)

“I was trying to figure out what went on,” Donald Prather said. “You know, you hear pops all the time, but you don’t think about it.”

Prather looked out his window half a block away and saw police in his yard.

“The cops were there, there, here,” he said, pointing around his yard, “they were taking pictures here and here.”

An affidavit of probable cause obtained by ABC27 Monday gives clues as to why.

Police at the scene arrested David Chase, the shooting suspect’s brother, on a charge of tampering with evidence. He is also a felon not to be in possession of a firearm, for which he was also charged.

The court paperwork says he was holding a gun in front of his sister’s house and “racking the slide on it” when police showed up. When another officer showed up, David Chase ran off, the affidavit states.

An officer caught him and he said, “I’ll take the homicide charge, if he lives,” the affidavit says he told the officer. A K-9 team later found the gun tossed along the path he ran.

Police believe he was trying to cover for his sister, but they found evidence she pulled the trigger.

Taylor, the neighbor, said she saw the suspect get into a car someone else was driving and leave, but police were not able to confirm that.

“I was just glad there wasn’t none of the kids hurt over there,” Prather said.

Jahnaey Chase has three kids, police said, two of whom live with her. Police added neither was home at the time of the shooting. It wasn’t clear Monday how Watlington might be related to them.

As police from several departments chased down leads that began pouring in shortly after the shooting Sunday, Taylor, who says she’s close to her neighbor, wanted resolution.

“I just wish she’d just turn herself in,” she said, “so at least I can come down there and see her. ”

Anyone with information on Chase’s whereabouts is asked to call Swatara Township police through Dauphin County Communications at 717-558-6900.

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