GONE TOO SOON—Dejour Gadsden, one of four teens killed by gun violence in 2013. (Photo courtesy of Facebook)


The killing of a 17-year-old McKeesport boy Saturday in the Hill District marks the fourth homicide of an individual 18 and under in Allegheny County and the first homicide in the Hill District this year.

Dejour Gadsden, 17, was shot and killed Saturday in the 2100 block of White Hill Drive in the Hill District when, according to Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, three men in black masks came to the residence of his female friend and opened fire on both of them. Gadsden was pronounced dead at the scene and his friend was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital, where she is expected to recover.

No motive has been released and the incident is still under investigation.
Gadsden’s homicide was the fourth for someone 18 and under and the seventh of someone 21 and under.

Other homicides of teens this year include, Deondre Pace, 16, who was shot and killed in January in the chest in the 300 block of Beltzhoover Avenue; Kellcy Thomas, 18, who was fatally shot in March in the 1400 block of Evans Street in McKeesport; and Tyrone Coleman, who was killed last week, in the 600 block of Crawford Avenue in Duquesne.

Reverend Glenn Grayson, pastor of Wesley Center AMEZ Church in the Hill District and the father of a teen lost to gun violence, said, “Another 17-year-old dead and gone. We got to get a handle on this.”  Grayson’s 17-year-old son, Jeron, was gunned down in October 2010 while home from college, visiting friends at a party near California University of Pennsylvania. The shooter had been upset because he was denied access into the party.

“It (Gadsden’s murder) shows again that guns are everywhere. As a parent who lost a young child, I don’t think the perpetrators comprehend the devastation on families, the race, the community and society,” Rev. Grayson said. “Mother’s Day was probably traumatic (for his family). I have several members who have lost children. Whether in 1992, 20 years ago, or two months ago, you (as a parent) are still devastated, and affected, and changed for life.”

While Grayson said there is no one answer; he does say that as a community, “we need to create a model of accountability and we can try to be proactive.”

Anyone with information in the Gadsden incident is asked to call the Homicide Squad at 412-323-7161.

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