McKEESPORT, Pa. - A house that was the location of a New Year's Eve party turned into a crime scene in the early morning hours of New Year's Day.
At approximately 3:12 a.m. Tuesday, bullets started to fly at the home on Versailles Avenue near Coursin Street in McKeesport. Emergency dispatchers told Channel 11 News that multiple people were wounded, at least one seriously. Sgt. Scott Scherer, of the Allegheny County Police Homicide Unit, later provided specifics. He told Channel 11 News that four people -- three adult males and one adult female -- were shot. Three of the victims suffered non-life threatening injuries. The fourth, shot in the abdomen, was in critical but stable condition Tuesday night.
The man who hosted the celebration talked to Channel 11's Brittny McGraw. Gabriel Patterson told her that problems started when three men, not known by residents, refused to leave as the party died down.
"It was 3 in the morning -- time for bed," Patterson said. "They showed up. I told them to leave. They didn't leave. They got mad that I told them to leave and they started shooting."
Several party guests were shot.
Patterson said that he has never before seen the men in question. He thinks they might have learned about the party from a public invite he posted online.
"They had no reason being here," he told Channel 11 News.
Patterson said that one of his good friends was among the wounded.
Crime scene investigators left the scene with bags of evidence, but authorities released few initial details about the incident. Police later identified the suspected shooter as Julian Sims, 20. A warrant was obtained for Sims, charging him with one count of criminal attempt homicide, four counts of aggravated assault, four counts of recklessly endangering other persons and firearms violations. In addition, Sims had a previously existing warrant for firearms violations.
Authorities described Sims as a light-skinned black male, standing approximately 5'7" and weighing 145 pounds. He has freckles and a large tattoo that says "Bridgette" on the left side of his neck. Known to frequent Wilkinsburg, Braddock and Duquesne, Sims should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.
Anyone with any information pertaining to the suspected gunman's whereabouts is asked to contact the Allegheny County Police Homicide Unit at (412) 473-3000.
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