Deadly weekend in County

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While the sun was blazing this weekend, so were the gunshots on the streets of Allegheny County. The last weekend in August brought four shootings leaving four deaths and many seriously wounded.

The violence began late Friday night, Aug. 24, with the shooting of three in Wilkinsburg near Wallace Avenue and Coal Street, leaving a 15-year-old Emery Lamberto dead. As of production there have been no arrests in the case.

Hours later, the streets of the Hill District were riddled with bullets and victims. According to police, Zone 2 officers received a call around 1:40 a.m. on Aug. 25 of gunshots and found Harold Young, 17 of the Hill District, along with another male shot in the street near 2225 Bedford Ave. Young had been shot in the chest and was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other male was taken to a local hospital for treatment. His identity has not been released, but he is expected to recover from his injuries.

The violence continued in the afternoon of Aug. 25 with the killing of Gary Hager, of Ross Township, and the arrest of a father and son at the Quick Stop convenience store in the 3300 block of Liberty Avenue in Lawrenceville.  Police said Hager had approached the vehicle of Darrell Tigney in the store parking lot and an argument ensued. As Hager tried to leave to go to his vehicle, Tigney got out and a confrontation ensued. As the two were fighting, Maurice Tigney, Tigney’s son, allegedly got out of the truck with a weapon and shot Hager. Hager was taken to UPMC Mercy with gunshot wounds to the torso, where he later died. Both Tigneys were charged with criminal homicide.

The weekend ended with the shooting death of a Beltzhoover teen in front of his home. On Aug. 26, Daimond Hill, 19, was shot in the chest outside his home at 404 Climax Ave., in Beltzhoover. He was taken to UPMC, where he later died. No arrests have been made.

Until Aug. 25, there had been no homicides in the city of Pittsburgh, only its surrounding areas.  Wilkinsburg Police Chief Ophelia Coleman was contacted several times and failed to return calls and Lt. Kevin Kraus, of the City of Pittsburgh Police’s major crimes unit could not be reached by this publication’s deadline.

While there is no proof of a connection, the weekend’s shootings came after a safety alert by Jay Gilmore, Esq., coordinator of the Pittsburgh Initiative to Reduce Crime, was forwarded to several people stating that a high ranking member of the Elmore Square G Block Gang had been killed in Munhall and that several police agencies were on high alert for retaliation and extreme violence and that law enforcement is asking that individuals in the Hill, Hazelwood, Homestead and Munhall use extreme caution when in these areas.

Gilmore would not comment, but Allegheny County Superintendent Charles Moffatt was contacted earlier about the number of shootings in the county and said while he could not go into specifics, county police were trying to address the violence in the Mon Valley.

The weekend’s homicides have brought the county total to 71 as of Aug. 26.

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