40 of 58 homicides Black lives…Down 20 from last year, has message finally gotten through?

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This time last year the Allegheny County Homicide count was up to 78 and this year there are 20 less homicides. Has the message finally started to get through to the community about ending senseless violence? Have the marches, the protests and the pledges to take back the community finally gotten to the gang bangers, the drug dealers, and those who just do not think? Only time will truly tell.

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As part of an ongoing effort to heighten awareness about the effects of murder in Black communities, the New Pittsburgh Courier will compile a list of homicides in the County each month. It is our hope that as the list of victims grows, so will a true understanding of how these lost lives affect the mental health, economic well-being and self-images of the region’s Black neighborhoods.

Out of the 58 murders, thus far, in 2009—40 were Black and 34 were Black men.

August Homicides (7)

AUG. 4—Jody Billingsley, a 37-year-old White female from Mt. Lebanon, was fatally shot when a gunman opened fire on a room of women in an aerobics class at LA Fitness Center in Collier Township. She was taken to St. Clair Hospital, but later died. Identified gunman George Sodini killed himself at the scene.

AUG. 4—Heidi Overmier, a 46-year-old White female from Carnegie, was shot to death when George Sodini opened fire in an aerobics class at LA Fitness Center in Collier Township. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

AUG. 4—Elizabeth Gannon, a 49-year-old White female from GreenTree, was also fatally shot when George Sodini opened fire during an aerobics class at LA Fitness Center in Collier Township. She died at the scene.

AUG. 8—Delores English, a 21-year-old Black female from Pittsburgh, was fatally shot in the leg and above the ear during a drive-by shooting at the intersection of Woodlow and Crucible streets in the West End. She was in a vehicle that was stopped when shots were fired. Police have charged Rodney Marshman with homicide, possession of a firearm by a minor, carrying a firearm without a license and two counts of recklessly endangering another person. He is awaiting trial.

AUG. 9—Antoine Charles Thomas Jr., a 16-year-old Black male from the West End, was shot in the back while at his home in the 3700 block of Chartiers Avenue. He had been in the backyard of his home with family and walked to the front to talk with friends, when a vehicle pulled up and opened fire. Marshman has also been charged with Thomas’ homicide.

AUG. 15—Theodore Jones, a 51-year-old Black male from Duquesne, was shot in the head at the intersection of West Grant Avenue and Aurellis Street. At this time no one has been charged with the homicide. The investigation is ongoing.

AUG. 22—Monnica Gay, a 37-year-old female from Wilkinsburg, was fatally shot in the forehead while visiting family in the 700 block of Cresswell Street. She was taken to UPMC Mercy, where she later died. A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Charles Cabiness. He has been charged with criminal homicide and carrying a firearm without a license. The apparent motive is that Gay testified at the trial against her brother’s alleged killer, who was Cabiness’ brother. As of now, he is still at large and considered dangerous.

JANUARY HOMICIDES (7)

JAN. 6—Emil Huesmann, a 63-year-old White male from McCandless, was fatally shot in his Lindsay Road home after an argument with his son over wanting to watch his son take his medication. His son allegedly shot him after he entered his son’s room threatening him with a screwdriver. Eric Huesmann, his son, has been charged with the homicide.

JAN. 6—Aljermire Dewberry, a 28-year-old Black male from Arlington, was found dead in the passenger seat of a vehicle in the 2100 block of Village Drive in Wilkinsburg. Police found the body when they were called to the scene after a report that the vehicle was on fire. No one has been charged.

JAN. 8—Lamar Smith, a 29-year-old Black male from North Point Breeze, was fatally shot by a police officer during a standoff in an apartment in the 200 block of North Homewood Avenue. The standoff lasted nine hours. Smith allegedly moved toward officers with guns in both hands. The argument allegedly dealt with Smith’s girlfriend and her father. No one is expected to be charged, because it’s being called a justifiable homicide. But the incident is being investigated.

JAN. 21—Craig Rhodes, a 30-year-old Black male from Duquesne, was shot in the upper thigh in Newford Alley in Duquesne and then ran to Lowery Street where he then collapsed. He was taken to Allegheny General Hospital where he later died. No one has been charged with the homicide.

JAN. 23—Herkley Fields Jr., a 63-year-old Black male from Pittsburgh, died after being shot outside of Kenny’s Bar on Fifth Avenue in Uptown in September 2008. He was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital where he died months later. No one has been charged.

JAN. 23—Brenda Agbley, a 40-year-old White female from Forest Hills, was found strangled to death in her home at 524 Ogden Ave. by Police, when the entered her home after allegedly being called when she did not pick her son up from the bus stop. An arrest warrant has been issued for Jude Agbley, her husband. He is still at large.

JAN. 30—Christian Edwards, a 16-year-old Black male from East Hills, was found by Police at the intersection of Ross and Swissvale Streets in Wilkinsburg with gunshot wounds to the head and trunk. He was taken to UPMC Presbyterian, where he later died. Jerry Donaldson was arrested in Florida, extradited back to Pennsylvania and has been charged with homicide and two counts of firearms violation.

FEBRUARY HOMICIDES (5)

FEB. 3—Paul Palmer, a 31-year-old White male from the North Side, was fatally shot in the head, chest and leg by a Pittsburgh police officer at his residence in the 2400 block of Maple Avenue when he pulled a gun out during an altercation. Palmer allegedly fainted, nearly causing a fire, was removed from the property and then re-entered. Authorities were called after he left through a window armed and encountered another officer. When he refused to drop his weapon and pointed it at the officer, he was shot multiple times. He was taken to Allegheny General Hospital, where he later died. The incident is being investigated.

FEB. 4—Darryl Crosby, a 58-year-old Black male from the Hill District, was found stabbed to death in his third floor apartment at 100 Hyman Place, in the Hill District by a social worker who was concerned when he could not be reached about their appointment. No one has been charged with the incident.

FEB. 13—Sean Turner, a 41-year-old Black male from East Liberty, was gunned down at Kirkpatrick Street and Bentley Drive in the Hill District. He was taken to UPMC Mercy, where he later died. No arrests have been made.

FEB. 19—Christopher Winston, a 37-year-old Black male of McKeesport, was shot by a Duquesne police officer during a robbery in the 600 block of South Fifth Street. The owner, who left her home when she heard Winston enter, called police to the scene. When the officer entered he allegedly commanded Winston to drop to the ground, he refused and then lunged at the officer. When he did so, the officer shot him. The incident is being investigated.

FEB. 24—Antoine Cooper, a 21-year-old Black male of the North Side, was found fatally wounded with a shot in the head along Hawkins Street in the Perry Hilltop section during an apparent drive-by shooting. He was taken to Allegheny General Hospital, where he later died. Police have arrested Ricky Rouse and Damone Porter and charged them with homicide and criminal conspiracy. They are awaiting trial.

MARCH HOMICIDES (7)

MARCH 7—Melvin Duncan Jr., a 16-year-old Black male from McKeesport, was found shot to death on Maple Avenue in the passenger seat of a red sports car. The driver had fled. He was pronounced dead at the scene. No arrests have been made.

MARCH 10—Alonzo Thompkins, a 37-year-old Black male from Pittsburgh, was shot in 1999 in Homewood and died several years later as a result of the shooting. Information was given by a medical examiner. Examiners are not including this homicide in this year’s count.

MARCH 12—Albert Kolano, a 33-year-old White male from Elliot, was fatally shot following an altercation with members of the Pagen motorcycle group at the Longview Lounge on Greensburg Pike in North Versailles. When leaving the bar, several people followed him and shot into his vehicle, hitting him and causing him to crash into a wooded hillside. He was taken to UPMC Presbyterian, where he later died. Police have arrested Bryan Perun, a former cop; Kevin J. Doolin Jr; John R. Miller; and Nathaniel J. Robinson and charged them with conspiracy to commit homicide, reckless endangerment and aggravated assault in the slaying. They are awaiting trial.

MARCH 13—Monte Brookins, a 22-year-old Black male from Duquesne, was shot while visiting an old girlfriend’s house in Clairton, a medical examiner said. He found her with another guy and they both pulled out guns and were shot. No other information was given.

MARCH 14—James Owens, a 15-year-old Black male from Brighton Heights, was fatally shot in the leg and torso while he and another tried to commit a robbery at a home in the 3700 block of Millerton Street in Clairton on March 1. Police were called to the scene when someone reported hearing gunshots. Owens was found in the street and taken to Allegheny General Hospital, where he died a week later. Owens and Earl Hawkins, his reported accomplice, had been charged with aggravated assault and attempted homicide, for shooting someone that was in the home.

MARCH 15—Nicholas Haniotakis, a 33-year-old White male from Pittsburgh, was shot and killed by police when he led them on a chase through the South Side. He nearly side-swiped an unmarked police vehicle on East Carson Street, backed down 13th Street at a high speed, and once he was stopped and approached by officers, he put his vehicle in reverse, nearly hitting one of them. The officers fired shots into the vehicle as he pulled away, causing him to run into a pole. He was taken to UPMC Mercy, where he was pronounced dead. The incident is being investigated.

MARCH 26—DeMonje Rosser, a 28-year-old Black male from Clairton, was shot in the head outside of his home on Park Avenue, shortly after arriving home. He was taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center, where he later died. No one has been charged with the homicide.

APRIL HOMICIDES (11)

APRIL 4—Eric Kelly, a 41-year-old Black male from Stanton Heights, was fatally shot in the line of duty while responding to a domestic call between a mother and son at 1016 Fairfield St. in Stanton Heights. Kelly had finished his shift when he received the call and went to backup officers. He was shot when he arrived at the scene. He was still alive when back up arrived, but was unable to be reached because the shooter continued to fire at officers. He was finally reached and pulled to safety and later died. He was one of three officers to be killed at the scene. Richard Poplawski has been charged with the homicide and is facing other charges. He is now awaiting trial.

APRIL 4—Paul Sciullo, a 36-year-old White male from Bloomfield, was shot in the head while responding to a domestic call at 1016 Fairfield St. in Stanton Heights. He and another officer went to the door and were shot as he entered the home. He died immediately. Richard Poplawski has been charged with the homicide and other charges. He is now awaiting trial.

APRIL 4—Stephen Mayhle, a 29-year-old White male from Brookline, was fatally shot while responding to a domestic call at 1016 Fairfield St. in Stanton Heights. He entered the home behind another officer and was also shot in the head. Richard Poplawski has been charged and is awaiting trial.

APRIL 7—Tia Crawley, a 15-year-old Black female from Stowe Township, was found shot in her Stowe Township home along with her mother. Her 13-year-old sister found her. Durand Alexander, her mother’s estranged boyfriend, has been charged with the homicide and is awaiting trial.

APRIL 7—Sherry Crawley, a 43-year-old White female from Stowe Township, was found shot in her home at 85 Frazier Ave., Stowe Township, along with her daughter. Her 13-year-old daughter discovered her body. Durand Alexander, her estranged boyfriend, has been charged with the homicide and is awaiting trial.

APRIL 12—Cecil Potter, a 34-year-old White male from McKeesport, was fatally shot inside his McKeesport home at 1609 Abraham St. during an attempted home invasion. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Robert Pace, 20, and Bryan Gilbert, 15, has been charged with homicide, robbery, conspiracy, burglary, reckless endangerment and firearms violation. Gilbert will be charged as an adult. They are awaiting trial.

APRIL 14—Nancy Watson, a 79-year-old White female from Glassport, was found in her hospital bed with a gunshot wound to the head in her Marie Street home, along with her husband, by her niece who had gone to check on the elderly couple. Investigators have ruled it a murder-suicide. Her husband allegedly shot her after becoming depressed about taking care of his ill wife.

APRIL 25—Luther Rapp Jr., a 44-year-old Black male from Lincoln-Lemington, was shot in the head outside of an Everton Street home in the Lincoln-Lemington area. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Two juveniles were also severely wounded. No one has been charged with the homicide.

APRIL 26—Joseph Davis Jr., a 20-year-old Black male from Verona, died of a gunshot wound to his chest and upper extremities that he received from another vehicle while driving on Aber Road of Penn Hills. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in the vehicle also received wounds. No one has been charged.

APRIL 26—Anthony Sams, a 20-year-old Black male from Beltzhoover, was fatally shot in the back of the head on Industry Street of Beltzhoover. He was sitting on steps, when he was approached by the shooter and was shot as he tried to run. No one has been charged with the homicide.

APRIL 28—Walter Boyd, a 16-year-old Black male from Homewood, was fatally shot during an argument with several individuals in the 600 block of Brushton Avenue of Homewood. He was hit several times and ran to Mac Can Do’s Bar on Brushton, where he collapsed. He was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, where he later died. Donald Jones, 18, has been charged with homicide and carrying a firearm without a license and is awaiting trial.

MAY HOMICIDES (8)

MAY 1—Rachel Robinson, a 32-year-old Black female from Hazelwood, was found shot to death in the doorway of her Hazelwood home on the 300 block of Flowers Avenue. She and her sister were shot after two guests had exited the home. They were stopped at their vehicle and told to get on the ground. Then they were instructed, along with a third witness to go onto the porch. The two women were called to the doorway and shot and the witnesses were let go. There were three children asleep in the home. Mario “Fat Boy” Parker was arrested and charged in connection with the crime. There is a second suspect at large.

MAY 1—Daneen Robinson, a 21-year-old Black female from Hazelwood, was found shot to death, along with her sister, on the 200 block of Flowers Avenue in Hazelwood. The police have arrested and charged Mario “Fat Boy” Parker has been charged with the incident.

MAY 3—Sherwood Blackwell, a 36-year-old Black male from the North Side, was shot in the head while driving down Rhine Street in the Spring Hill section of the North Side. His SUV then crashed into a dumpster and he was pronounced dead at the scene. No one has been charged with the homicide.

MAY 14—Davon Young, a 30-year-old Black male from Pittsburgh, was shot several times in the torso in the 100 block of Creswell Street in St. Clair Village. He was taken to UPMC Mercy where he later died. No one has been charged with the homicide.

MAY 18—Glidie Cobbs, a 49-year-old Black male from Fairywood, was shot in the stomach during a robbery at his home in the 2000 block of Broadhead Fording Road. The three robbers took nothing after ransacking his home. Cobbs died at the scene. No suspects have been charged.

MAY 19—Kevin Williams, a 30-year-old Black male from Hazelwood, was fatally shot when a bullet entered his apartment on Almeda Street in Hazelwood. He called 9-1-1 and was taken to UPMC Presbyterian where he later died. No one was charged with the crime.

MAY 22—Shavaughn Wallace, an 18-year-old Black female from the Hill District, was shot in the back in the 200 block of Alpine Street in the North Side. She had been sitting in a vehicle talking to a group of people, when a gunman came out from the woods and began shooting at the crowd. She exited the vehicle and was shot as she ran. She was pregnant and weeks away from giving birth. Lamon Street has been charged with her homicide, the homicide of her unborn child and seven counts of reckless endangerment.

MAY 31—Daniel Demery, a 25-year-old Black male from Braddock, was fatally shot multiple times and died on the sidewalk of 12th Street in McKeesport, after leaving the Elks Club. No one has been charged with the homicide.

JUNE HOMICIDES (5)

JUNE 2—Marcus Sayles, a 17-year-old Black male from West Mifflin, was found shot in the head in the 18 block of Soles Street in McKeesport. He was taken to UPMC McKeesport, where he later died. No one has been charged with the homicide.

JUNE 4—Anthony Tamsula, a 25-year-old White male from North Braddock, was found shot to death in an alley near his Kirkpatrick Street home in North Braddock. He was pronounced dead at the scene. No one has been charged with the homicide.

JUNE 14—DeRay Pearson, a 22-year-old Black male from the North Side, was fatally shot in the back at Garfield Avenue and Jacksonia Street. He was taken to Allegheny General Hospital, where he later died. No one has been charged.

JUNE 20—Tammi Heckman, a 40-year-old White female from McKeesport, was shot in her home in the 200 block of Perry Street while she tried to flee from her home during a robbery. She was hit by two out of three fired shots. She died of multiple wounds to the trunk and was pronounced dead at the scene. Michael Evans and Calvin Loving have been charged with homicide, robbery and conspiracy. They are awaiting trial.

JUNE 26—Hoang (Tony) Nguyen, a 21-year-old Black male from Lawrenceville, was found shot and laying next to an open driver’s side door of a crashed vehicle in the 2400 block of Bedford Avenue in the Hill District. The alleged motive is robbery. Lonnelle Johnson has been arrested and charged with homicide, aggravated assault and two counts of robbery.

JULY HOMICIDES (8)

JULY 4—Chondale Terry, a 28-year-old Black male from Baldwin, was fatally shot in the chest by his girlfriend after the 4th of July fireworks display at the intersection of Fifth and Wood streets. Allegedly, the couple had a domestic dispute and Terry was shot as he walked away. He was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital, where he later died. Ciara Roberts has been charged with one count of criminal homicide and is awaiting trial.

JULY 4—Malik Scott, a 16-year-old Black male from the Hill District, was found dead with a gunshot to his torso at the Robert E. Williams Memorial Park at Milwaukee and Adelaide streets in the Hill District. He had been walking his dog in the park. No arrests have been made.

JULY 7—James Williams Jr., a 53-year-old Black male of McKees Rocks, was shot in the chest in his SUV and was found by detectives who had been patrolling the neighborhood in the 3000 block of Zephyr Street in Sheraden. No arrests have been made.

JULY 7—Jamal Holyfield, a 17-year-old Black male from North Braddock, was found shot to death in an overgrown lot at Bell Avenue and Robinson Street in North Braddock by someone walking by on their way to work. No one has been arrested.

JULY 9—Maurice Malachi, a 22-year-old Black male from Duquesne, was fatally shot in the abdomen and pelvis at Duquesne Place Drive, near the Hilltop Parkview Manor Apartments. He was taken to UPMC Mercy, where he later died. Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of Andre Woods. He is still at large.

JULY 23—Jacquet McGrady, a 26-year-old Black male from Bellevue, was stabbed while allegedly waiting for a drug deal to occur on Kendall Avenue in Bellevue. McGrady and another man began arguing and he was stabbed in the torso and back with an 18-inch kitchen knife as he approached the other man. He was taken to Suburban General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Johnathan Perez has been arrested and charged with criminal homicide and robbery. He is awaiting trial.

JULY 29—Robert Michel, a 42-year-old White male from Brackenridge, died from injuries sustained when he was run over twice by a Ford Explorer July 18 on Argonne Drive in Harrison. Allegedly he and another man had been fighting over a woman. Michel suffered from blunt force trauma to the trunk. Albert James Davalos has been named as the alleged driver and is expected to be charged with homicide.

JULY 31—Martez Ward, an 18-year-old Black male from Pittsburgh, was fatally shot in the chest and minutes later hit by a vehicle in the Arlington Heights section. He was found unconscious and taken to Mercy Hospital where he was pronounced dead. No one has been charged with the homicide.

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