22 of 30 homicides Black lives

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With a total number of 30 homicides occurring thus far in 2014 in Allegheny County, 22 of them consisting of Black men and women, most of them under the age of 40 or even  30 for that matter, we are already on track to having a more deadlier year than 2013. This time last year, April 30, the county had 28 homicides, with again, 22 of them being Black lives.

The trend has become that as the temperature rises, so do the homicides. We need to put an end to it. Unfortunately, in April, we hit the double digits with 10 homicides. Some of the most horrific and senseless homicides took place this month.

For instance, a 24-year-old Black male was shot and killed while attending a birthday party at a school playground, where more than 100 people were in attendance. Then there was a 17-year-old male who was killed when a bullet went through his window and hit him in the chest. But what may be the most horrific killing of the year was when a 20-year-old female and her unborn child were shot and killed by her boyfriend, who later bragged about it on social media. How callous has our community become?

Recently, at the Pittsburgh Unit of the NAACP’s Human Rights Dinner, president Connie Park spoke about the importance of Waking Up and Taking Action. We, as a community need to Wake Up and Take Action. It’s time to put an end to the thinking of “because these senseless killings aren’t happening to my loved ones, I’m not affected. We are all affected. Because when it haves to one of us, it happens to us all.”

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 30 murders, thus far, in 2014—22 were Black and 19 were Black men.

April Homicides (10)

APRIL 1—Luke Schlemmer, a 3-year-old White male from McCandless, died from drowning while taking a bath in his family’s home in the 9500 block of Saratoga Drive in McCandless. He was taken to UPMC Passavant; where he later died. Schlemmer reportedly was taking a bath with his 6-year-old brother, Daniel Schlemmer, when their mother sat on then to hold them under water after allegedly hearing voices in her head. Daniel Schlemmer also died. Laurel Michelle Schlemmer is charged with two counts of criminal homicide and a possibility of other crimes. She was found mentally incompetent to stand trial and was ordered to a state mental hospital until further review.

APRIL 5—Daniel Schlemmer, a 6-year-old White male from McCandless, died days after being held under the water while taking a bath in his family’s Saratoga Drive home in McCandless on April 1. He was taken to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC; where he had been on life support and later died. Luke Schlemmer also died. Schlemmer was taking a bath with his 3-year-old brother, Luke Schlemmer, when their mother allegedly sat on them to hold them under water after she allegedly heard voices in her head. Laurel Michelle Schlemmer is charged with two counts of criminal homicide and could possibly face other charges. She was found to be mentally incompetent to stand trial and was ordered to a state mental hospital until further review.

APRIL 10—Lee Williams, a 46-year-old Black male from Braddock, was fatally shot in the chest while visiting a friend’s apartment in the Hawkins Village housing complex in Rankin. It’s been reported that several men entered the apartment, attempting to rob the home and the individuals. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.

APRIL 18—Leonard Young, a 33-year-old Black male from Larimer, was found shot to death with multiple gunshot wounds to the torso, in a vehicle near the intersection of Paulson Avenue and Mayflower Street, across from Mt. Ararat Baptist Church. The vehicle he was found in reportedly belonged to his girlfriend and was parked between the church’s van. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.

APRIL 20—Edward Deakings, a 24-year-old Black male from Wilkinsburg, was fatally shot during a birthday party at a playground at the former Chartiers Elementary School on Summerdale Street in Windgap. He was taken to Allegheny General Hospital; where he later died. One other person was injured. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.

APRIL 21—Adrian Williams, a 29-year-old Black male from Beechview, was shot in the upper torso and killed by a Pittsburgh police officer during a reported chase that began with a traffic stop at the intersection of Hamilton and Fifth Avenues, and ended on Penn Avenue near South Trenton Avenue in Wilkinsburg. Williams crashed into a brick wall. Williams allegedly had a gun and refused officer’s commands to put the weapon down. The Pittsburgh police officer has been put on administrative leave, which is protocol, and the incident is under investigation.

APRIL 21-Trijuan Williams, a 17-year-old Black male from Munhall, was fatally shot in the chest through the window of a house on Martha Street in Munhall. He died at the scene. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.

APRIL 24—Michael Burkes, a 32-year-old Black male from Elliot, was found unresponsive with multiple gunshot wounds on the front porch of his home in the 1000 block of Morena Street in Elliot. He was pronounced dead at the scene. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.

APRIL 27—Andrew McMunn, a 23-year-old White male from Blawnox, was found dead with blunt force trauma to the head and multiple stab wounds to the neck and chest in a ravine near a building in the 600 block of Melwood Avenue in Oakland. It has been reported that McMunn may have been tortured before his killing. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.

APRIL 30—Lauren Williams, a 20-year-old Black female from Pittsburgh, was shot and killed while leaving a home on Kincaid Street in Garfield. She was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital; where she later died. She was also three months pregnant. Williams was allegedly killed by her boyfriend Kerrese Law­rence who reportedly was bragging about the incident on a social media website. They had allegedly had a previous altercation where Lawrence threatened Williams. A warrant had been issued for Lawrence in the killing of Williams. Authorities received a tip that Lawrence, who had been on the run, was at a home in Homewood. After a standoff, authorities entered the home and reportedly found Lawrence dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

March Homicides (6)

MARCH 1—Vincent Holt Jr., a 27-year-old Black male from Homewood, was shot to death in the rendezvous Phase III bar in the 7300 block of Hamilton Avenue in Homewood. Holt was pronounced dead at the scene, four others were injured. One person was charged, then charges were later dropped. No one new has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.

MARCH 24—Kenneth Lampkin, also reported as Kenneth Lampkin by the Office of the Allegheny County Medical Examiner, a 16-year-old Black male from Knoxville, was fatally shot in the head by his friend on March 22 during an alleged game of  “army” at his Knoxville home on Zara Street. He was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital where he died days later. Joseph Robinson Jr. has been charged as an adult with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, tampering with evidence, a firearms violation and criminal homicide.

MARCH 24—Rasheed Strader, an 18-year-old Black male from Troy Hill, died from a single gunshot wound to the chest outside of his mother’s home on Goettman Street in Troy Hill. He was found between two vehicles and pronounced dead at the scene. An arrest warrant has been issued for Theodore Smedley, in connection with Strader’s death; he is still on the run.

MARCH 25—Jamarow Trowery, a 36-year-old Black male from Wilkinsburg was found dead with a gunshot wound to the chest in an SUV that had crashed into the back of Radiant Life Alliance Church on Kincaid Street in Garfield. He and another person, Rashad Freeman, were shot to death in the vehicle, while allegedly going to pick up another person. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.

MARCH 25—Rashad Freeman, an 18-year-old Black male from Verona, was found dead with a gunshot wound to the neck in an SUV that had crashed into Radiant Life Alliance Church on Kincaid Street in Garfield. He and another male, Jamarow Trowery, were shot while in the vehicle. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.

MARCH 29—Tymere Pryor, a 17-year-old Black male from Pittsburgh, was found with a gunshot wound to the back of his head by pedestrians on a set of steps near Webster Avenue and Orion Street in the Hill District.  He was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital where he later died. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.

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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