Man accused of killing ex-SRU football player in Oakland gets trial



PITTSBURGH - The man accused of shooting and killing a former Slippery Rock University football player in Oakland earlier this month is headed to trial.

Zachary Sheridan, 24, was shot on South Bouquet Street after an argument outside the Original Hot Dog Shop.

Sheridan was a three-year starter on the Slippery Rock football team before graduating in 2011.

Isiah Smith, 22, turned himself in to authorities two days after the shooting and was charged with homicide.

A judge ordered Smith to stand trial on homicide charges Friday after a police detective testified that Smith gave conflicting stories at first.

An eyewitness and friend of Sheridan also testified that Smith blatantly came after them, and that Smith flashed a gun and waved it in his face. The man said a fight then began.

Police said Sheridan was shot when he and his friends tried to run away. Sheridan was shot in the back and died at a nearby hospital.

Smith’s attorney, Blaine Jones, said his client didn’t initiate the fight and he was defending himself.

“Mr. Sheridan punched Mr. Smith with a closed hand to the face twice. My client didn’t touch Mr. Sheridan, he was punched twice,” Jones said. “Then my client went to the hospital and had a concussion and stitches.”

According to police paperwork, Smith told officers he shot his gun and, “let one off into the air.”

Sheridan’s family, friends and former teammates packed the courtroom Friday wearing T-shirts with his name and number.