DA Zappala ‘cautiously optimistic' Wilkinsburg gunmen identified

PITTSBURGH — Investigators believe they have identified the gunmen in a mass shooting in Wilkinsburg that resulted in the deaths of six people, including an unborn baby, and left three others wounded, District Attorney Stephen Zappala told Channel 11 News on Friday.

No arrests have been made, and the names of the suspects have not been released, but Zappala said he is "cautiously optimistic that we have identified the people responsible for this."

In addition, Zappala revealed that investigators have a pretty good idea of what was the motive behind the shooting. However, he could not elaborate as investigators continue to build their case.

Two gunmen ambushed a cookout in the backyard of a home on Franklin Avenue on the night of March 9, authorities said. Several children were inside the home when the deadly shots rang out.

Four women, including one who was eight months pregnant, and one man were killed. Two other men and one woman were wounded.


"That crime scene was terrible. Probably the worst I've seen," Zappala said. "They intended to take as many lives as they could, and that just doesn't happen in our county."

Officials identified those killed as Jerry Shelton, 35, Tina Shelton, 37, Brittany Powell, 27, Chanetta Powell, 25, and Shada Mahone, 26. The sixth victim was the unborn child.

Zappala said he is confident that the crime will be solved, and arrests will be made.