‘It’s getting worse’: Community seeking answers from Pittsburgh leaders in light of recent violence

PITTSBURGH — It was Saturday at 2:15 a.m. on the South Side. Surveillance video from a local business shows a scuffle between two people outside of a black SUV with 4-ways on along East Carson Street between 15th and 16th Streets.

Several minutes later, the black car pulls out onto East Carson and slams right into a silver SUV. If you look closely, you can see what appears to be the driver of the black car reach out the window, point a gun and fire it several times.

As people scream and scatter, running for cover, the two SUVs drive off in opposite directions. A man was later found by officers on 16th and Bingham Streets with gunshot wounds to the leg, arm and stomach. He’s in critical condition.

It’s the latest in a pattern of violent crime on the South Side and some neighbors tell Channel 11 they are fed up.

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“It’s getting worse, that’s for sure,” Mack Nelson tells Channel 11.

In 2021, then-Mayor Bill Peduto announced the city started construction and planned to expedite the opening of a South Side police substation on 18th and Mary Streets. The city even invested $1 million in the project. It was set to open in 2022, but now, midway through 2023, seemingly nothing has come of it.

We asked what the plans are and if the substation project is still on. We reached out to the city of Pittsburgh, the Mayor’s office and to the councilman who represents the South Side, Bruce Kraus. Nobody got back to us.

Some people who live and work on the South Side believe a larger police presence could make a difference.

“I’m sure a police substation around here would be OK,” Nelson said. “Anything to increase the presence of officers that can quickly respond to stuff like this.”

“Any additional police presence as the bars are going out, because this seems to be a timing issue,” Joah Iannotta added.

Some believe more of a police presence could help local businesses stay afloat.

“There are a couple of restaurants that way closing due to violence itself or less people coming down here,” Nelson added.

“At the end of the day, this isn’t good for anyone,” Iannotta said.

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