WEST GOSHEN, Pa. (CBSNewYork/CBS Philly) — Police in Pennsylvania have arrested the man wanted in a deadly road rage shooting that claimed the life of a recent high school graduate.
As CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported, the incident happened Wednesday in West Goshen in Chester County, about an hour west of Philadelphia.
Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced murder charges against David Desper, 28, from Trainer, Delaware County during a news conference Sunday afternoon.
Desper is accused of fatally shooting Bianca Roberson, 18, on Wednesday on Route 100 in West Goshen Township after the two were involved in what’s been described as a “cat-and-mouse” encounter along the highway.
“This is the story of a savage and senseless murder — gunned down because somebody didn’t want to give way,” Hogan said. “Somebody didn’t want her to merge into a lane of traffic and because of that a young woman is dead today.”
Hogan said Desper was driving a red pickup truck, and he and Roberson were “jockeying for position” as the roadway merged into one lane and Roberson was not letting Desper get by.
“He wasn’t happy,” the district attorney said. “So he pulled out a gun and shot Bianca in the head, killing her instantly.”
Roberson’s car veered off the road, struck a tree and was later found in a ditch. Desper sped off, authorities said.
Authorities used surveillance video to track the red pickup truck and also received numerous tips from the public. Hogan said the vehicle was found in Glen Mills, and the 40-caliber semi-automatic handgun police believed was used was found in Desper’s bedroom.
The district attorney said there was no indication that race was a factor in the murder.
Authorities said Desper turned himself in at 2 a.m. Sunday with his attorney. He has been charged with first degree murder, third-degree murder and related offenses. He remained in custody without bail.
Roberson had just graduated from Bayard Rustin High School in West Chester. She was headed to Jacksonville University in Florida in the fall.
Jacksonville University released a statement Sunday evening following the news of Desper’s arrest.
“We are grateful to learn of one small measure of closure with an arrest in the untimely and tragic loss of one of our incoming freshmen, Bianca Nikol Roberson, 18, of West Chester, Pa. The University is working on plans to memorialize Ms. Roberson and should have an updated announcement in the coming week. Our thoughts and prayers remain with her parents, family and friends as they deal with their grief from this terribly sad and senseless tragedy.”
Roberson’s grief-stricken parents earlier pleaded with the suspect to surrender.
“Please – you took my life, you devastated this family,” said Michelle Roberson. “She was my life!”
The victim’s parents were there Sunday when police announced the arrest.
Police recovered Desper’s pickup truck as well as his legally owned handgun – which matched the bullet that killed Roberson.
“The round recovered from her was reviewed by a forensics ballistics expert, who told us that that round came from a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson semi-automatic handgun,” Hogan said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for her funeral expenses.