9 of 14 homicides Black lives…We should be helping to solve our own murders

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With a homicide total of 14, as of Feb. 28, Allegheny County has had more homicides this year than the 11 that occurred by this time last year. Although the number of homicides has increased, the number of Black homicides and Black male homicides, which is nine and seven, is the same total as this time last year.

Recently there have been some complaints about the amount of time, energy and resources the Pittsburgh Police are putting into solving the homicides of the Wolfe sisters, who were White, while there are a large number of Black homicides that remain unsolved.

In a perfect world, yes each homicide would get the same amount of time, energy and resources devoted to it. But realistically, that is not the case.

But here’s something to think about, how many of those unsolved Black homicides would be solved if people in the community would come forward and report what they saw? Too often there are reports of shootings, where there were multiple witnesses, but no one comes forward. Instead, we continue to protect these individuals and let them continue to walk around and terrorize our communities.

People say, “well I don’t want to be labeled a snitch” or “I’m scared.” First of all, it is only snitching if you are involved in the illegal activity. And if you’re scared, the make an anonymous call.

Each month, we at the New Pittsburgh Courier, offer a challenge to the community. This month we’re asking for residents to make a responsible commitment to report whatever illegal activity they see or hear. We need to get these people off our streets and get our communities back to thriving.

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 14 murders, thus far, in 2014–nine were Black and seven were Black men.

February Homicides (5)

FEB. 8—Susan Wolfe, a 44-year-old White female from East Liberty, was found shot to death, along with her sister Sarah Wolfe, in the basement of the home they shared together in the 700 block of Chislett Street, in East Liberty. Officers were dispatched to the home after a report that one of the females did not show up to work. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
FEB. 8—Sarah Wolfe, a 38-year-old White female from East Liberty, was found shot to death, along with her sister Susan Wolfe, in the basement of their Chislett Street home in East Liberty. The women were found by officers, when they went to the home after receiving reports that one of the females did not show up to work. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
FEB. 11—Richard Didonato, a 66-year-old White male from Bellevue, was found lying on the sidewalk, in the 1200 block of Woodland Avenue, on the North Side, with a fatal gunshot wound to the torso. He was taken to Allegheny General Hospital, where he later died. Other media have reported that it may have been a robbery gone wrong. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
FEB. 19—Orlando Ferguson, a 20-year-old Black male from McKees Rocks, was found with multiple gunshot wounds in front of a building in the Uansa Village housing complex near Helen and Robb Street in McKees Rocks. He was taken to Allegheny General Hospital, where he later died. Trevon Kendrick is charged with Ferguson’s homicide, along with conspiracy and two gun violation charges. He is currently awaiting his trial.
FEB. 23—Kenneth Stubbs, a 53-year-old Black male from East Liberty, was found shot to death in a wooded area near Manilla and Hilda Streets in Penn Hills. Stubbs was a Pittsburgh business owner. It was reported that he was dead for hours before he was found. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.

January Homicides (9)

JAN. 9—Imani Porter, a 20-year-old Black male from Point Breeze, was found fatally shot in the head in the driver’s side of his vehicle parked in the parking lot of the Steak ‘n Shake restaurant, in Homestead, after an alleged drug deal gone bad. Porter reportedly met with two males to sell them heroine; when they entered the vehicle they pulled out a gun and one of the males shot him in the head. He was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital; where he later died. Jaron Young, who will be charged as an adult, and Paul Sanders have been charged with criminal homicide, robbery and conspiracy. Young is awaiting trial and Sanders has not been apprehended.

JAN. 15—Amy Gorsuch, a 40-year-old White female from Pittsburgh was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head, at the residence she once shared with her estranged husband, Richard Gorsuch, on Dinsmore Avenue in Crafton. Gorsuch and Richard Gorsuch had reportedly been separated for months. Gorsuch allegedly went to the home after an evening with her brother, while their three children were at her father’s house, where she had been living. After she did not return, her father went to the house and found her body, along with Richard Gorsuch’s body. Richard Gorsuch allegedly shot her and then himself. It has been ruled a murder-suicide.

JAN. 16—Frederick Douglas Jr., of Homewood, was found lying on the ground in the 7100 block of Kedron Street, in Homewood, with gunshot wounds to his stomach and leg. He was pronounced dead at the scene. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.

JAN. 20—Hosea Davis, a 37-year-old Black male from Penn Hills, was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds to the torso in the middle of an alley in the 6400 block of Rapidan Way in Larimer. Davis was reportedly shot and then shot several additional times at close range while he was already on the ground. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A warrant has been issued for Rodney Howard. He is facing a charge of criminal homicide and has not been apprehended.

JAN. 23—Catherine Willett, a 79-year-old White female from Bloomfield was found in the bedroom of their home at 4650 Rosina Way in Bloomfield with a gunshot wound.  Her husband, Phillip Willett, reportedly was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. He allegedly shot her and then tried to shoot himself, but the gun jammed. He is charged with criminal homicide and is awaiting trial.

JAN. 23—Cheralynn Sabatasso, a 36-year-old Black female from Knoxville, was found shot in the head in the driver’s seat, along with Jason Eubanks, at the intersection of Grimes Avenue and Zara Street, in Knoxville. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Antoine Ward is charged with two counts of criminal homicide and two counts of firearms violation.

JAN. 23—Jason Eubanks, a 36-year-old Black male from Knoxville, was found shot in the head in the passenger’s side of a vehicle, along with Cheralynn Sabatasso, at the intersection of Grimes Avenue and Zara Street. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Antoine Ward is charged with two counts of criminal homicide and two counts of firearms violation.

JAN. 27—Charles Hull, a 56-year-old Black male from Penn Hills, was shot and killed by a Penn Hills police officer during a standoff at a home in the 10000 block of Calvin Street in Penn Hills. Hull reportedly went to the home of his girlfriend and fired shots into the home. When police arrived, Hull was in the house and his girlfriend ran outside to safety. As they assisted her to safety, Hull allegedly emerged with a gun and aiming it at officers. After ignoring several commands to put down the weapon, Hull was shot. He was taken to a local hospital; where he later died. It was reported by other media outlets that Hull may have been upset because he was going to be arraigned soon for an incident that occurred in October 2013. The officer has been placed on administrative leave while the incident is further investigated, which is standard protocol.

JAN. 28—Susan Sidney, a 25-year-old Black female from McKeesport, was found fatally shot in the chest and arm in the 900 block of McCleary Street, in McKeesport, while walking with a male to a  convenience store. Sidney was taken to UPMC McKeesport Hospital; where she later died. It is believed she was not the intended target, but that the male she was walking with was. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.

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