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Philly Men Charged in 2011 Lansdale Drive-By Shooting

John Sambath, 19, of S. 15th Street, allegedly shot a man in Wedgewood in Lansdale in September 2011. Christian Vietri, 21, of S. 11th Street, remains at large

Two Philadelphia men have been charged — but one remains at large — for their alleged involvement in a drive-by shooting in the Wedgewood development in Lansdale in September 2011.

John Sambath, 19, of the 1600 block of S. 15th St., and Christian Vietri, 21, of the 1200 block of S. 11th St., were involved in the shooting on the 900 block of Wedgewood Drive on Sept. 4, 2011, police said.

Sambath has been arraigned and awaits a preliminary hearing for Jan. 3, 2013 at 11 a.m. at Lansdale district court.

He faces a felony criminal attempted homicide charge for allegedly shooting a man outside a home in Wedgewood in Lansdale.

Vietri remains at large, but is expected to turn himself in to police, police said.

On Dec. 5, 2012, Sambath was arraigned before Lansdale District Justice Harold Borek, who set bail at $500,000 cash, police said. Sambath is currently incarcerated at Curran-Frumhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia on unrelated robbery charges.

Sambath is charged with 24 criminal offenses: felony attempted criminal homicide, felony burglary, felony criminal trespass, two counts of felony aggravated assault, felony carrying a firearm without a license, felony discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure, six misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment, misdemeanor criminal mischief, eight misdemeanor counts of simple assault, misdemeanor possessing an instrument of crime, and misdemeanor terroristic threats. 

Vietri is charged with 17 criminal offenses: felony carrying a firearm without a license, felony aggravated assault, two counts of misdemeanor simple assault, six counts of misdemeanor recklessly endangering another person, misdemeanor terroristic threats, misdemeanor posssessing an instrument of crime, misdemeanor DUI, misdemeanor disorderly conduct - engaging in fighting, carrying a false identification, failure to stop at a stop sign, and purchasing alcoholic beverages for a minor, according to court records.

On Sept. 4, 2011, at midnight, police officers were dispatched to a report of a shooting in Wedgewood.

Patrol officers arrived on location and found an 18-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his upper torso, police said. The victim was transported to Abington Health-Lansdale Hospital where he was treated for the gunshot wound.

Witnesses reported that a group of individuals, including Sambath and Vietri, arrived in the neighborhood and an argument ensued between the group and residents of a home on the 900 block of Wedgewood Drive, police said.

Sambath and Vietri allegedly pulled out handguns, police said; Vietri then allegedly fired two shots away from the group and yelled at residents.

Sambath got into his car to leave the scene, but stopped his car in front of the house and allegedly fired multiple shots from his gun toward the home, police said.

People were outside during the shooting, which is when the victim was hit by one of the shots fired by Sambath, police said.

After the shooting, Sambath and Vietri fled the scene separately, police said.

Vietri was stopped several blocks away, but denied involvement in the shooting, police said.

Sambath was not immediately found, but was later identified by investigators via video surveillance and photographs from a nearby convenience store, police said.   

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