by Ashley Johnson
Courier Staff Writer
The 96 lives lost to senseless violence in 2012 should not be forgotten. The past year was full of senseless deaths that serve as a reminder of what work needs to be done in the New Year when it comes to guns and Black-on-Black violence.
Deaths such as: Catechu Roach, a 27-year-old Beltzhoover woman who was killed hours after ringing in the New Year at Fever Night Club in the Strip District when a fight and gunfire erupted; or Donovan McKee, 11, who died when his mother’s boyfriend beat him to death in their Knoxville apartment; and Ne’Ondre Harbor, a 16-year-old Garfield teen who was killed when he was shot while running for cover during a neighborhood altercation that he was not involved in. But, what some might say would be the saddest loss was that of Charlene Walters, a 64-year-old Verona grandmother who died Oct. 15 after being shot during a youth football game at Pittsburgh Obama Academy.
Not only did 2012 bring more homicides than 2011’s total of 73, but for the first time in recent years, homicides occurring in Allegheny County outside of Pittsburgh were higher than those occurring in the city, with 54 in the county and 42 in the city.
Most of the county’s homicides occurred in McKeesport, Wilkinsburg and Penn Hills. Both, McKeesport and Wilkinsburg, saw increases that almost doubled their numbers from 2011, while Penn Hills saw a decrease from its numbers of the previous year. Although there is no answer as to why this continues to happen, the individuals listed above, and the many others on the list, are just a few examples of why we, as a community, need to come together and find one and why we need to demand that our federal, state and local public officials put the issue of addressing gun violence on their agendas. We can no longer afford to lose our grandmothers, our children, but most importantly, our future to this growing epidemic. As part of our ongoing effort to heighten awareness about the effects of murder in Black communities, the New Pittsburgh Courier will continue to 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 96 murders, in 2012—78 were Black and 72 were Black men.
DECEMBER HOMICIDES (5)
DEC. 4—Emmanuel White, a 16-year-old Black male from McKeesport, died after receiving a gunshot wound to the neck on Nov. 29 near the Crawford Village housing complex, near Craig and Brownlee Street, in McKeesport. He was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, where he died days later. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
DEC. 7—Terry James, a 38-year-old Black male from the North Side, was shot to death during an alleged robbery at his home in the 2100 block of Rhine Street, in Spring Hill. He had been home with a companion, when three men, one a friend, reportedly entered the home demanding jewelry. An arrest warrant has been issued for Lawrence Simmons. He is charged with criminal homicide, criminal conspiracy, carrying a firearm without a license and more.
DEC. 11—Jesse Thorton, a 23-year-old Black male from McKeesport, died after being shot multiple times on Dec. 6 at the Hi View Garden Apartments in the 700 block of Sixth Avenue. He had several gunshot wounds to the torso. He was taken to UPMC Presbyterian, where he died five days later. An arrest warrant has been issued for DaShawn Reid, charging him with homicide.
DEC. 19—Devin Davis, a 21-year-old Black male from Monessen, was stabbed to death during a home invasion on Edinburg Drive in Penn Hills. Davis, and two others, allegedly entered the home and were confronted by the homeowner. A struggle ensued and Davis was stabbed, put on the porch and the homeowners fled and called authorities. The two other suspects also ran. No one has been charged.
DEC. 21—Emmanuel Thompson, an 18-year-old Black male from Pittsburgh, was fatally shot in the side at a home on Conestoga Road in Penn Hills. He had been taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, where he later died. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
JANUARY HOMICIDES (6)
JAN. 1—Shateecha Roach, a 27-year-old Black female from Beltzhoover, was fatally shot while a patron inside Fever Night Club, in the Strip District, when a fight broke out and gun fire erupted. She was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, where she later died. Three others were injured. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
JAN. 2—Chaz Anger, a 21-year-old Black male from Pittsburgh, was shot to death in the back and neck outside of a Brighton Heights apartment at 3437 Fleming Ave., in the North Side. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
JAN. 6—Mark Senay, a 40-year-old White male from Greenfield, found dead with a gunshot wound to the head in his home in the 1400 block of Bristol Street in Greenfield. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
JAN. 14—Daniel Peek, a 16-year-old Black male from Duquesne, was fatally shot during a family gathering at his home at the Parkview Manor Apartments in the 2500 block of Duquesne Place Drive, in Duquesne. He was reportedly hit by bullets that passed through the door during a gunfight in the hallway. No one was charged; the investigation is ongoing.
JAN. 24—Quinn White, a 24-year-old Black male from McKees Rocks, was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head in the 100 block of Churchill Street in McKees Rocks. He had allegedly been walking home and in the process of making a call when he was killed. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
JAN. 29—Kevin Hill, a 31-year-old Black male from South Side, was fatally stabbed in the neck at a home at 120 Amanda Avenue, in Mount Oliver, after an alleged argument. He had been taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital, where he later died. Donald Finnigan has been charged with the homicide and is currently awaiting trial.
FEBRUARY HOMICIDES (9)
FEB. 8—Melissa Bowers, a 36-year-old White female from Carnegie, was stabbed to death during a domestic altercation with her on and off again boyfriend at a home on Railroad Avenue in Carnegie. Jeffrey Maloy is charged with homicide and is currently awaiting trial.
FEB. 9—David Loftin, a 43-year-old Black male from Hazelwood, was found shot to death in the woods behind the Mon View Apartment Complex in West Mifflin by authorities who were searching for a missing man. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
FEB. 10—Sean Blackwell, a 35-year-old Black male from Manchester, was found with a gunshot wound to the chest in the kitchen of an apartment in the 1700 block of Termon Avenue in the North Side, after an apparent drug deal gone bad. He was taken to Allegheny General Hospital, where he later died. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
FEB. 11—Roman Herring, a 21-year-old Black male from Pittsburgh, was found fatally shot inside of a car in the 1400 block of Hill Avenue in Wilkinsburg. He was with a friend. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
FEB. 11—Leron Brown, a 21-year-old Black male from Wall, was found shot to death in a vehicle in the 1400 block of Hill Avenue in Wilkinsburg. He was found with Roman Herring. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
FEB. 13—Donovan McKee, an 11-year-old Black male from Knoxville, was fatally beaten to death by his mother’s boyfriend at the apartment where they lived, 107 Knox Ave., in Knoxville. McKee had allegedly been struck with Anthony Bush’s hand and several objects around the apartment, while his mother was at work. He was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital, then later to Children’s Hospital, where he later died. Bush is charged with criminal homicide and endangering the welfare of children. He is currently awaiting trial.
FEB. 22—Devonte Snowden, a 19-year-old Black male from Lincoln-Lemington, was found dead with gunshot wounds to the face in his vehicle in the 7200 block of Somerset Street in the Lincoln-Lemington area. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
FEB. 23—Arron Crable, a 23-year-old Black male from Clairton, was fatally shot in the parking lot of the Hi View Gardens Apartment at 6th Street in McKeesport. He had been greeting his sister, who had arrived in another vehicle, when shots were fired. He was struck in the trunk and his sister was also hit. His sister survived but he was taken to UPMC McKeesport, where he later died. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
FEB. 28—Michael Haines, a 31-year-old White male from East Pittsburgh, was found shot in the back of the head in the back of an abandoned Garda Cash Logistics truck, the company where he had been employed. It seemed to have been a heist. Along with more than $2 million, Haines’ partner that day was also missing, Kenneth Konias Jr. He is still at large. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.