‘It was rapid fire’: Witnesses react to Pittsburgh mass shooting


PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh neighborhood is shaken after watching a horrific scene play out Easter Sunday morning in East Allegheny.

“I mean it was rapid fire. It wasn’t just a little bit of fire. [It was like], ‘Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang,’” said Leonard Verdetto, who watched the 1:30 a.m. shooting from his home across the street.

“We looked out the window and people were running out the door and screaming, yelling, crying,” he said.

According to police, 10 young partygoers were shot and two were killed. Five others were injured trying to get away.

“You’re in that second floor and you have to make a decision like, ‘I’m going to jump out of a second-floor window and break through glass’ and stuff like that. That’s just a really scary situation,” said Mitchell Wilston, who lives down the street and captured video of the tragedy from his home surveillance camera.

On the video, you can see the crowd scatter when the shooting starts. One victim even used Wilston’s car for support.

“It looked like someone ran this way and then leaned up against the back of our car, and it was just blood everywhere,” he said.

Verdetto used to own the bar across the street from the home that operates as an Airbnb and still lives behind the bar.

He saw the crowd of 200 young people lining up to get into the rental home hours before the shooting.

“The line was still going and going and going and I said, ‘I don’t know how the hell they’re going to get all those people in there,’” he said.

Wilston said the home has been an Airbnb for about two years.

“It’s never been disruptive or an issue or anything like that,” he said. “There’s never been ragers there or anything like that.”

The rental company issued a statement reading in part: “Airbnb strictly bans parties, and we condemn the behavior that is alleged to have prompted this criminal gun violence. The booking guest has been issued a lifetime ban from Airbnb and we will be considering all legal options to hold this person accountable.”

Airbnb also said the person who made the reservation had to be at least 18 years old.

The company added it will be working with Pittsburgh police and the mayor’s office as the investigation into the shooting continues.