Police, Mayor respond to shootings


Cameron McLay, Bill Peduto
New Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay, left, answers questions during a news conference after being introduced by Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, right, on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Nine shootings, three days, four of them fatal.
Though several were older than most recent gun-violence victims—in their mid to late 30s—they shared two other too common factors: they were male and they were Black.
The three-day rash of shootings began Oct. 11 with a domestic dispute on Hale Street in Homewood. Police said 35-year-old Robert Wilson got into a verbal argument with the shooter, the current boyfriend of his former girlfriend, which led to the shooting.
Later that same day, three men were shot on Cordell Place in Arlington Heights, two in their legs, the third in his arm and shoulder. None of the wounds were fatal. One shooter, wearing a blue T-shirt and jeans was seen fleeing on foot.
Still later that day, Taimiel Watson, 40, was found shot in the face in his car on W. Warrington Avenue in Beltzhoover. He was transported to Mercy Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The following day, just after 3 p.m., another man was grazed in the chest by a gunshot on Arlington Avenue, again in Arlington Heights.
Then on Monday, Oct. 13, Omar Hodges, a 29-year-old Pittsburgh Public Works employee was fatally shot as he began his shift on Brownsville Road in Carrick just before 7 a.m.  A white or silver Nissan Altima was seen fleeing the scene.
Just over four hours later, two masked men chased and shot two individuals near the intersection of Johnston Avenue and Rosselle Drive in Glen Hazel, killing 22-year-old Marcus Critten died at the scene the other was last reported in critical condition at UPMC Presbyterian.
Mayor Bill Peduto released a statement expressing his sadness at Hodges’ killing, and saying the police were working on all the cases.
“Pittsburgh Bureau of Police detectives are responding to this and other recent incidents swiftly, firmly and appropriately. As always, they can work even better with assistance from the community,” he said. “I urge anyone who has any information on these shootings—no matter how insignificant it may seem—to share it with police.”
Public Safety personnel met for more than five hours Oct. 14, but did not release any further statement by Courier deadline on the fatalities or if any of the three shootings in the Hilltop communities appeared to be related.
(Send comments to cmorrow@newpittsburghcourier.com.)
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