PITTSBURGH — Violent crimes detectives at Pittsburgh Police headquarters are looking for two suspects, described to the public only as males who were wearing ski masks and black clothing. Police say they shot and killed a 21-year-old woman in Homewood on Sunday afternoon, leaving her lifeless body lying in the middle of the road.
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Kyle Holbrook is an artist who painted the ‘Peace Over Pittsburgh’ mural under the bridge on North Homewood Avenue and Finance Streets. He was painting when he said he heard a gunshot and then saw a woman lying in the middle of the road.
“This is a young woman who lost her life in the street, in broad daylight, in front of the Stop Gun Violence mural,” Holbrook tells Channel 11. “There isn’t a more perfect opportunity that we need to wake up as a community, as a society.”
Police say the woman was 21 years old. The medical examiner has not released her name yet. Holbrook says he’s feeling so many emotions yet numb at the same time.
“My heart is broken,” Holbrook added. “I questioned if this is making any impact.”
Holbrook told us his mural was blocked off by police tape and firefighters washed the woman’s blood off the sidewalk right next to the art.
“What about her family?” Holbrook said. “What about her loved ones? No words or anything I can paint will ever bring her back or give her or the situation the respect it deserves.”
The mural was first created in 2007. Over the years, different artists have left their mark, with a clear message that still remains - to stop the violence.
Frank Tillman Junior is a preacher and an artist who completed a section of the mural.
“We’re here to give a message and a statement to come together and unify to be as one,” Frank Tillman Jr. said.
In all 17 years since Ernest Bey started painting under this bridge, this mural has never been tagged - it’s respect for the message woven throughout the faces and images.
“We have to get back to our humanity,” Ernest Bey said. “We have to think in terms of more communal thoughts than individuals. All life is valuable, your life is valuable. We have to build that self-esteem.”
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