The total number of homicides that have taken place in Allegheny County thus far in the year are similar to that of last year’s total around the same time. As of April 30 there have been 26 total homicides, 22 of them Black individuals, and in 2014 at the same time there were 28 homicides, 22 of them Black lives.
While Under Attack By Us uses the homicides to show the disturbing effects of Black on Black homicides to communities, there is also another component—the shootings. This month there were eight homicides, but there were almost just as many shootings where individuals did not die, but were seriously injured. While they are still alive, their lives are forever changed. Some shooting victims become paralyzed or have medical complications that will remain with them for life and some heal physically, but are still affected mentally.
It has gotten to the point where members of the community can’t sit on their porches, go to public swimming pools or even visit shopping malls without fear that they may be shot because someone was foolish enough to whip out a gun to “handle a situation.” That is no way to live.
This issue needs to be addressed and it needs to be addressed now. It is election time and we have candidates vying to lead districts that continue to be hit hard with violence. There is a need for more legislation, programs and development. Each candidate should be asked their plan for addressing the epidemic of Black on Black violence; our communities cannot afford to have individuals in office who aren’t working towards making them a safer place. Black lives are counting on it.
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 26 murders, thus far, in 2015—22 were Black and 21 were Black men.
April Homicides (8)
APRIL 4—Isaac Cameron, a 23-year-old Black male from West Mifflin, was shot multiple times during a home invasion on Maple Avenue in West Mifflin. Cameron, who lived at the residence with his mother, died at the scene. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
APRIL 5—Christopher Richardson, a 20-year-old Black male from West Oakland, was shot in the torso while driving a vehicle with two other passengers on Dinwiddie Street in the Hill District. He was found near the scene, in an alley. He was pronounced dead at the scene. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
APRIL 12—John Stefano, a 23-year-old from Turtle Creek, was fatally shot in an apartment in the Northern Pike Garden Apartment complex located in the 3900 block of Monroeville Boulevard. He was taken to Forbes Regional Hospital; where he later died. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
APRIL 21—Trula Dobbins, a 35-year-old Black male from Hill District, was shot in the chest and torso while at a bar in the 2400 block of Webster Avenue, in the Hill District, after an argument erupted. He was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital where he later died. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
APRIL 23—Dion Turner, a 21-year-old Black male from Swissvale, was found fatally shot on the sidewalk in the 3000 block of Ward Street in South Oakland. Another man was also injured. Turner was pronounced dead at the scene. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
APRIL 24—Derrick Owens, a 30-year-old Black male from Pittsburgh, was fatally shot in the 1300 block of Columbus Avenue, in Manchester, while standing outside of his vehicle talking to passengers inside when a man walked up, shot him and continued on. Owens reportedly got back into the vehicle where he was found by authorities. He was pronounced dead at the scene. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
APRIL 25—Justin Ballard, a 26-year-old White male from McKees Rocks, was fatally shot in the back while in the Third Street Park near Third and Amelia Streets in McKees Rocks. He was taken to Allegheny Hospital where he died hours later. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
APRIL 26—Robert Sellmon II, a 63-year-old Black male from Braddock Hills, was found dead with multiple stab wounds in the bedroom of his home on Illinois Avenue in Braddock Hills. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Sellmon was allegedly stabbed by Darrell Carter, his cousin’s ex-lover who was reportedly upset that his ex had left him and moved in with Sellmon. Other reports state that authorities found Carter nearby with bloody clothes and knife in his pocket. Carter is charged with homicide, burglary and more. He is currently in Allegheny County Jail awaiting his trial.
MARCH 3—John Scaine, a 23-year-old Black male from Braddock, was shot multiple times, including in the head, while walking near the intersection of Upland Street and North Lang Avenue in Homewood. He was taken to a local hospital where he later died. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
MARCH 5—Garrick Marshman, a 19-year-old Black male from North Braddock, was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds in the backseat of a vehicle in the 3200 block of Mt. Lebanon Church Road in West Mifflin. He had been riding with three other individuals. Deandre Smith, one of the passengers, allegedly shot Marshman and is charged with homicide and weapons violations. He is awaiting trial.
MARCH 21—Jacquelyn Bush, a 25-year-old Black female from Bellevue, was found dead in the basement of a home she was visiting on Courtright Street in Marshall-Shadeland. She had a gunshot wound to the buttocks. Charles Miles is charged with homicide. He is awaiting trial.
MARCH 23—Justin Clark, a 16-year-old Black male from Penn Hills, was fatally shot on Trefoil Court in Monroeville. He was taken to Forbes Hospital where he later died. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
MARCH 26—Isaiah Coleman, a 19-year-old Black male from Wilmerding, was fatally shot in the chest while at a home on Airbrake Avenue in Wilmerding. Coleman was at the home when he got into an altercation with Chaz White. He was pronounced dead at the scene. White allegedly shot Coleman and is charged with criminal homicide and carrying a firearm without a license. Another man is charged with weapons violation and tampering with evidence in connection with Coleman’s death. They are both awaiting their trial.
FEB. 7—William Jeffries, a 50-year-old Black male from Penn Hills, was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds in his Frankstown Road home in Penn Hills. He was pronounced dead at the scene. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
FEB. 17—Deion Nesbitt, a 24-year-old Black male from East Liberty, was fatally shot during an altercation at the Rendezvous Phase III bar, located at 7232 Hamilton Ave., in Homewood. Nesbitt had been working as a security guard when he got into an altercation with a patron who had a gun. Three other individuals got involved and Nesbitt was shot. An unknown female security guard was shot as well. Nesbitt died upon arriving at a local hospital. Harvey Scott Jr., the alleged shooter, along with Tiqwan Green, Eric McGuire and Kevin Ford are charged with criminal homicide and a host of other charges.
FEB. 20—Brandon Barley, a 60-year-old Black male from McKeesport, was found dead with a gunshot wound to the trunk in an alley near the 3900 block of Jennylind Street in McKeesport. Two people were seen leaving the scene. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
JAN. 2—Davonte Stevenson, a 19-year-old Black male from the North Side, was found lying in the street near the intersection of Manhattan Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, in Manchester, with a gunshot wound to the chest. Stevenson had been walking when a vehicle pulled up and shots rang out. He was taken to Allegheny General Hospital where he later died. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
JAN. 4—Joseph Adu-Marfo, a 22-year-old Black male from McKees Rocks, died from a fatal shot to the lower extremities after being shot in the 3100 block of McClure Street in the North Side. He had shown up at Allegheny General Hospital where he later died. No one has been charged, the investigation is ongoing.
JAN. 6—Leslie Sapp, a 47-year-old Black male from Knoxville, was fatally shot by officers who were at his Redlyn Street home in Knoxville, to arrest him on charges of rape, Statutory sex, and more. He allegedly confronted officers with an air gun that looked real upon their entry. It has been reported that officers did not know the gun was not real. No charges have been filed.
JAN. 13—Nicholas Grant, a 16-year-old White male from Carrick, died days after being choked and beaten with a vacuum during a fight at Circle C Youth and Family Services group home on Noblestown Road in Carrick. On Jan 10, teens Yusuf Shepard and Malik Crosby allegedly put Grant in a chokehold while the other beat him with the vacuum. Grant was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital where he died days later. The two were charged as adults with homicide and aggravated assault, among other things. They are awaiting trial.
JAN. 20—-Thomas McClelland, a 56-year-old Black male from East Liberty, was fatally shot multiple times outside of Shuman Market near Frankstown and North Homewood Avenues in Homewood. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
JAN. 20—William Doyle, a 24-year-old White male from McKeesport, was found dead after a shooting on Brownlee Street in the Crawford Village Housing Complex in McKeesport. Doyle was chased by two men who opened fire on him. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities have charged Jonathan Coles and Roman Jones with homicide, attempted homicide, aggravated assault and more. Jones is awaiting trial and Coles is still at large.
JAN. 23—Edwin Hammond, a 33-year-old Black male from Penn Hills was found fatally shot multiple times inside his home on Joan Drive in Penn Hills. He was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital where he later died. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
JAN. 27—Anthony Garland, a 31-year-old Black male from Wilkinsburg, was shot to death and robbed in his Wilkinsburg Apartment on Kelly Avenue. Two males reportedly told Garland they were there to purchase marijuana, but actually intended to rob him. They allegedly shot him, took the drugs and a gaming console. Troy Miller and James Meek, who lives in Garland’s building, have been charged with homicide, robbery, conspiracy and more. They are awaiting trial.
JAN. 29—Stephon Reed, a 29-year-old Black male from East Liberty, was found shot to death in the backseat of a vehicle near Route 51. Reed and four other individuals had been in the vehicle when someone began firing shots into it. Authorities reportedly were answering a call to shots fired when they saw the vehicle with Reed speeding away and began to chase it. When the vehicle stopped that’s when officers found Reed. It’s believed the individuals were trying to take him to a nearby hospital. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
JAN. 29—Chalaiai Chaihirunkarn, a 26-year-old Asian female from North Oakland, was found shot to death in the bedroom of her North Oakland apartment at 230 N. Craig Street. She had multiple gunshot wounds to her head and chest and was found by authorities that were conducting a well-being check. It’s believed her boyfriend, Bryan Springer, killed her and then himself. He was also found dead in the apartment. The incident has been ruled a murder-suicide.
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