MCKEESPORT, Pa. - Allegheny County police said an innocent 72-year-old man was killed Wednesday after he was shot and crashed while driving on East Fifth Avenue in McKeesport.
“At this point, we do believe he was an innocent victim and may have just been driving by the area where the shooting occurred,” Allegheny County Police Lt. Andy Sherman said.
The medical examiner’s office identified the victim as 72-year-old James Ponzo of Glassport. Authorities said he suffered a gunshot wound to the head.
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On Friday, Allegheny County Police identified 18-year-old Rashawn Walker as a suspect.
Walker is currently wanted on two unrelated warrants, police say. He is considered a fugitive and should also be considered armed and dangerous.
Walker stands 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs about 180 pounds. He has a tattoo on the front of his neck. He is from the McKeesport area but has ties to Clairton. He is also known to hide in the hotels in the Homestead Waterfront.
Anyone with information on Walker's whereabouts is asked to call 911.
Ponzo was an Eucharistic minister, usher and valued member at Queen of Rosary Parish in Glassport.
“I hope they find who did it because he didn’t deserve the kind of death he had. We’re all going to die, but not like that,” said Gerry Lykowski, a friend of Ponzo’s.
According to investigators, emergency dispatchers received calls just before 3 p.m. about people in two white vehicles shooting at each other at the Crawford Village Apartments in McKeesport.
"I was in my living room and heard four gunshots. I immediately called 911,” witness John Wakeland said.
Sherman said that within minutes of those calls, police were alerted to the crash on East Fifth Avenue, which is near the apartment complex.
“They found two vehicles that had been involved in the collision,” Sherman said.
Police said Ponzo crashed after he was shot and pronounced dead at a hospital.
The two people in the other vehicle involved in the crash only suffered minor injuries, authorities said.
The Duquesne-McKeesport Bridge and East Fifth Avenue from Evans Avenue to Hartman Street in McKeesport were closed while police investigated.
Detectives said they recovered a vehicle on Chronmyer Street that they believe belongs to one of the gunmen involved in the shooting.