NORRISTOWN >> For successfully investigating two shootings in Pottstown and “conclusively” identifying the shooter and bringing him to justice, two borough detectives received commendations from Montgomery County’s top law enforcement officer.
“Over the course of seven months, Detective Mark Wickersham and Detective Brooke Fisher conducted an extensive investigation into both shootings …The subsequent examination determined that the same firearm was used in both shootings,” District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said Thursday, referring to the detectives’ tireless work investigating the November 2014 shootings.
“With the assistance of the Montgomery County Investigating Grand Jury, detectives Wickersham and Fisher were able to conclusively identify Skyler Vollmuth as the shooter in both incidents,” Steele added.
Wickersham and Fisher smiled proudly as about 200 spectators erupted with thunderous applause when Steele presented them their commendations during the district attorney’s annual law enforcement commendation ceremony. Pottstown Police Chief F. Richard Drumheller and several other borough officers were on hand to support Wickersham and Fisher.
“Your devotion to duty is in the highest tradition of public service and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office,” Steele addressed the detectives.
In April, Vollmuth, 21, of the 1200 block of East Cedarville Road, North Coventry, was sentenced to a total of nine to 20 years in state prison after he pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault, firearms not to be carried without a license, possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number and possession with intent to deliver marijuana in connection with the shootings.
Vollmuth was tied to a 9:52 p.m. Nov. 6, 2014, incident that occurred in the vicinity of the 100 block of North Evans Street, during which he fired a gun at a man.
The victim had been walking west on Chestnut Street when he observed a group of four individuals standing on the corner near Chestnut and Franklin streets, according to court documents. The group followed the victim as he walked north on Franklin Street and turned into Rowan Alley.
The victim stated the group was circling around him and a man, later identified as Vollmuth, asked him where he could get marijuana. The victim replied that he did not know, according to court papers.
The victim then attempted to get away when Vollmuth brandished a black semi-automatic handgun. The victim ran toward the North Evans Street home of a friend.
As Vollmuth appeared around the corner with his arm extended and the gun pointed directly at the victim, the man screamed and pleaded with Vollmuth not to shoot, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
As the victim’s friend opened the door to the home, the victim fell onto the floor and Vollmuth opened fire on him, according to police. The bullet struck a window sill of the residence but the victim was not struck by the gunfire, detectives said.
Authorities also tied Vollmuth to a second shooting that occurred about 11:35 p.m. Nov. 8 in the 400 block of King Street. When police arrived on the scene they found a man suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg, according to a criminal complaint.
The man told detectives he was walking westbound on King Street with two other males when he was approached by three males, including Vollmuth who displayed a gun. The victim told police he was shot as he attempted to run away, “felt pain in his leg and fell to the ground,” according to the criminal complaint. The victim had to undergo surgery for the injury to his leg.
Detectives obtained video surveillance in the area that recorded the encounter and Vollmuth was developed as a suspect in the shooting.
Ballistics tests revealed the same weapon was used during the Nov. 6 and Nov. 8 shootings. Authorities said the gun used in the two shootings was never recovered.
However, on Nov. 13, police and members of the Ches-Mont Emergency Response Team arrested Vollmuth at his residence and confiscated another gun, a loaded Keltec .380-caliber firearm that had an obliterated serial number.
Authorities also seized marijuana, brownies containing marijuana and two digital scales, according to a criminal complaint.
During the investigation, authorities determined that two others took part in purchasing the .380-caliber firearm and facilitating the transfer of it to Vollmuth and they were charged in connection with what authorities characterized as an alleged straw purchase.