LANCASTER COUNTY — A 24-year-old Lancaster County man is facing up to 24 years in prison after pleading guilty recently to shooting his friend in the face while under the influence of multiple drugs on Nov. 5.
Shawn D. Bergman, of Lititz, admitted he was on multiple drugs when he shot 19-year-old Christopher Levy in the face while in an apartment on the 400 block of South Main Street, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.
He will serve a 12- to 24-year prison term.
According to testimony, Levy was with a group of acquaintances at the apartment. Everyone left when the shot was fired.
“They all left him alone to die,” Bruce Pierce, Christopher’s grandfather, said in court. “Friends do not do that.”
Northern Lancaster County Regional police found Levy face down by a couch inside the apartment. He died two days later at a hospital in Philadelphia.
Levy’s mother and grandparents discussed the horrific injuries caused by the gunshot wound, and the devastation of helplessly watching Christopher pass away.
“I placed my hand on his heart and felt it stop,” Jessica Levy said of her son. “I will never hold Christopher’s children. I will never meet Christopher’s wife.”
Christine Pierce, Christopher’s grandmother, called the incident an “unimaginable tragedy.”
“Unbearable thoughts plague every moment of every day,” she said. “Was he terrified? Was he afraid? Was he in pain?”
Bergman’s defense lawyer said his client and Levy were “best friends,” according to the DA.
“I messed up, and I’m truly sorry,” Bergman said in a brief statement.
Lancaster County Judge Howard Knisely accepted the plea terms and ordered sentence.
Bergman also pleaded guilty to stealing his stepfather’s pistol, used in the shooting.
Assistant District Attorney Christine L. Wilson arranged the plea agreement, which considered Bergman’s intoxication. Wilson said the investigation did not show evidence of premeditation.
After pulling the trigger, witnesses heard Bergman say, “Did I just shoot my friend?”
Levy’s relatives said it was a “senseless, preventable crime.”