Police say tips from witnesses, public help ID shooting suspect

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PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh police have obtained an arrest warrant in connection with a fatal shooting earlier this month in Northview Heights.
 
According to the criminal complaint filed Thursday, two men with guns told a group of friends playing basketball, “If you ain't from Northview, you gotta die.”
 
Shortly after another game, witnesses heard gunshots, and 21-year-old Maurice Freeman fell to the ground. Doctors at Allegheny General Hospital pronounced him dead on Aug. 1.
 
Police said Paul Kendrick, 19, of Northview Heights, was charged Thursday with the homicide. Kendrick, also known as “Peanut,” has not been taken into custody, police said.
 
“Homicides are weighing heavy on myself and the entire bureau, knowing there’s a community involved.  Making their own communities better is a relief for us,” said Mayor Bill Peduto.
 
Police Commander RaShall Brackney believes Freeman’s slaying was a breaking point, and a surprising number of people began to speak up.
 
“We’ve received hundreds of anonymous phone calls and emails.  People are no longer willing to tolerate this crime,” said Brackney.
 
Witnesses, who were not identified in the complaint against Kendrick, said they were playing basketball with Freeman when two men walked up to them with guns in their waistbands.
 
One witness told police one of the friends agreed to play a one-on-one game with one of the men. After the game, the witness said, the two men followed Freeman, and then there were gunshots, the complaint said.
 
Two witnesses picked Kendrick out of a group of photos as being one of the two men with guns.
 
Freeman's death was the second fatal shooting in three days at the housing complex.
 
Eugene David, 19, of Forest Hills, died and a 41-year-old man was shot in the leg on July 30.

Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.