PITTSBURGH — Directly after this morning’s news conference, Mayor Ed Gainey, Pittsburgh’s public safety director and the North Side councilman walked the block where a triple homicide happened on the Northside Saturday night.
Two innocent women were killed in the crossfire, and another man who was possibly involved in the shooting was killed. One man survived after he was shot.
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“It’s a crying shame. You can’t even walk on the street without being shot. If the bullet’s not meant for you, you’re still catching it,” Denise Johnson, who is moving to the Northside, told Channel 11.
The shooting started as an argument at the Sunoco, then escalated to nearly 30 gunshots.
“Conflict resolution that’s going to be resolved with gunfire is going to result in innocent victims like you see in this particular case. Lives are cut short for absolutely no reason whatsoever,” Major Crimes Cmdr. Richard Ford said in Monday’s news conference.
Ford called for accountability — including the district attorney’s office and district judges.
Channel 11′s Gabriella DeLuca asked him what he meant by his comments.
“It’s more of a frustration with the overall system. We all need to come together and find out where the deficiencies are and work together to get rid of those deficiencies, wherever they may lie. Obviously, something isn’t working,” Ford added.
A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office said they have “no comment to Commander Ford’s full statement in context.”
Police would not say if they think the shooters involved in this incident were under 18. However, they did talk about their frustrations with the closing of the Shuman Center.
Ford said they’ve had countless arrests of juvenile reoffenders.
When asked, Gainey said there will be an announcement regarding Shuman in the weeks to come.
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“What I’m going to do is look forward to find(ing) out what we can do to reestablish Shuman Center and put it back into our toolbox,” Gainey said.
Those who catch the bus where the fatal shooting occurred tell Channel 11 they’re shaken but aren’t surprised by the violence.
“I use this bus stop frequently,” said bus rider Charmaine, who requested that only her first name be used. “I tell my kids not to use this bus stop because of drug addicts falling asleep and things like that. It’s terrible.”
Channel 11 contacted Pittsburgh Regional Transit to ask about the security around the Northside bus stop and shelter. They said:
“Port Authority police regularly visit that bus stop to make sure there’s no unwanted activity. That’s been going on for more than a year. Today is no different.”
Channel 11 was also told regular patrols will continue several times a week.
“I don’t understand why there isn’t a cop here at all times. When they know how much drugs and stuff is here. You have prostitution and everything down here,” said bus rider Joyce Lee.
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