PITTSBURGH (AP) _ A Pittsburgh man who may have been targeted in an ambush shooting at a cookout that killed five people and an unborn child has been jailed on an unrelated assault charge.
Lamont Powell, 24, faces a preliminary hearing April 7 on charges he pulled a gun on a man and kicked him in the face in December during a custody dispute the man was having with Powell’s sister. The alleged victim had fathered a child with 25-year-old Chanetta Powell, according to a criminal complaint filed against Lamont Powell on Friday.
Chanetta Powell, her unborn child, and four other adults were slain and her brother, Lamont, was critically injured during the cookout in Wilkinsburg on March 9. Chanetta was nearly eight months’ pregnant when she was gunned down alongside Jerry Shelton, 35; Tina Shelton, 37; Brittany Powell, 27; and Shada Mahone, 26.
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. told reporters at the scene the next day that Lamont Powell may have been the intended target of the shooting, though the prosecutor wouldn’t say why and investigators haven’t commented.
Powell, who doesn’t have an attorney listed in court records to comment on his behalf, posted bond on Friday and remained free on the December assault charges. The Associated Press could not immediately locate a listed phone number for Powell.
Authorities don’t believe the charges Powell faces are related to the cookout ambush.
But Zappala has previously said the Wilkinsburg cookout killings could be related to bad blood between some of the shooting victims and people in Homewood.
About 15 people were at the backyard cookout when a man with a pistol started firing in their direction, prompting the adults to scramble for cover toward a rear porch of the residence. That’s where another gunman, who was hiding behind a fence with an AK-47-type weapon, wounded Lamont Powell and killed the other victims.