As the temperature rises, signaling summer is upon us, so have the homicides. With double-digit totals for the month of May, homicides in Allegheny County total 36, with 30 of those being Black men and women; some even teens.
This time last year the total number of homicides in the county were the same—36—but the number of homicides that took place in May were much fewer, there were six.
Looking at the names on this month’s listing brings heartbreak—the senseless beating death of a grandmother and teen, a domestic dispute gone wrong and the killing of a 14-year-old who was fatally shot in front of a group of hundreds. Kelvin Lovelace’s story is reminiscent of the tragic death of “Baby Marcus,” the East Hills toddler who was innocently shot in May 2013 while attending a community picnic with his family. Like that of Lovelace, there was a large crowd gathered when the shooting occurred. All these witnesses and yet these killers continue to roam free.
While authorities do need cooperation from the community to solve these senseless killings and get these shooters off the streets, Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety Public Information Officer Sonya Toler said, cooperating goes beyond just telling what one saw. “Where justice happens is in the courtroom.” Individuals have to be willing to go through the whole process.
How can we ask for the police and the district attorneys to do their job and hold them accountable, if we’re not willing to do our part and hold ourselves, as a community, accountable?
While there are far more individuals willing to stand up and speak out than there are who are willing to remain silent; even one person’s silence is deadly.
By not cooperating through the entire process, these killers get off and become free to continue taking the lives of more innocent people. It’s time to not only take “a stand,” but take “the stand.”
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 36 murders, thus far, in 2015—30 were Black and 27 were Black men.
May Homicides (10)
MAY 7—Valerie Crumpton, a 72-year-old Black female from East Hills, was found beaten to death in her home in the 500 block of Karl Street in East Hills. Her granddaughter, Tionna Banks, was also found dead. Authorities found the two while conducting a wellness check that was requested after Banks did not report to a social service appointment. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing. (Identified as Valorie Crumpton by the Allegheny County Office of the Medical Examiner.)
MAY 7—Tionna Banks, a 19-year-old from East Hills, was found beaten to death, along with her grandmother, Valerie Crumpton, in Crumpton’s Karl Street home in East Hills. The two were found when authorities conducted a wellness check after receiving reports that Banks did not show up for a social service appointment. Banks had recently been threatened by her estranged boyfriend, the father of her then-2-month-old child. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
MAY 10—Jamar Thomas, a 20-year-old Black male from Hazelwood, was fatally shot outside an apartment building, in the 500 block of Collins Avenue in East Liberty, where he had been visiting. He reportedly had gotten into an altercation with Brett Terry prior to the shooting. Terry is charged with criminal homicide along with other charges. He is awaiting trial.
MAY 13—Christopher Katchur, a 52-year-old White male from McKeesport, was fatally shot in the back in his McKeesport home in the 3100 block of Orchard Street. He reportedly had just obtained an emergency protection from abuse order against his wife, Patricia Katchur. She allegedly had entered the home through a window, fell asleep, woke up when her husband came home and got into a dispute. Patricia Katchur is charged with criminal homicide. She is awaiting trial.
MAY 15—Mikal Francis, a 32-year-old Black male from New Jersey, was found shot multiple times in the 7100 block of Idlewild Street in Homewood. He was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital where he later died. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
MAY 16—Darius Williams, a 40-year-old Black male from Jefferson Hills, was fatally shot in his Roberts Drive home, in Jefferson Hills, during a dispute with the man his female live-in companion had brought home. The woman reportedly picked up Trenton Knight, brought him to the home, and an altercation ensued when Williams returned home. Knight had allegedly been hiding in a bedroom and fired shots when Williams opened the door. Knight is charged with criminal homicide and firearm violation.
MAY 16—Deontay Hamilton, a 34-year-old Black male from Braddock, was fatally stabbed at a home in the 500 block of Pine Way in Braddock during a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. Hamilton was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital where he later died. It is unknown if the woman has been charged.
MAY 17—Kelvin Lovelace, a 14-year-old Black male from Wilkinsburg, was fatally shot while attending a party in the East Hills Housing Complex on East Hills Drive. Reportedly, a group of hundreds were standing outside when a car drove up and fired shots into the crowd. Lovelace was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital where he later died. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing. (Identified as Kevin Lovelace by the Allegheny County Office of the Medical Examiner.)
MAY 20—Jaymon Gandy, a 21-year-old Black male from Homestead, was shot to death while walking down Mifflin Street in Homestead. He reportedly had been walking when a car drove up and several individuals got out of the car and fired multiple shots. He was pronounced dead at the scene. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
MAY 20—Harrison Shaffer, a 68-year-old White male from Forward Township, was fatally shot in his home on Pine Avenue in Forward Township. His nephew, Billy Joe Richter, had allegedly entered his home looking for money. Shaffer called the police. Richter was arrested after a standoff that lasted for hours ended. Richter is charged with homicide, burglary, aggravated assault and more. He is awaiting trial.
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. Rayshawn Austin is charged with homicide and gun violations. He is awaiting trial.
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 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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