Loved ones remember 18-year-old killed in Pittsburgh’s Hill District

PITTSBURGH — Less than a week ago, 18-year-old Maleek Thomas skipped with joy, his zest for life caught on camera at his graduation ceremony from Pittsburgh Milliones.

Maleek was killed just six days after his high school graduation when he tried to stop someone from throwing rocks at windows.

Maleek’s aunt spoke to 11 News about their family’s loss today, while holding a photo from that graduation ceremony of Maleek with his mom, pride across her face.

“His mom raised him well,” his aunt said. “She raised him with morals and to respect people and to be mannerable. She did her best and it’s so sad she has to bury her son.”

18-year-old Shaun Scott is charged with Maleek’s murder. He has also been charged with the murder of a 15-year-old boy in March 2022.

RELATED: Suspect in recent murder charged, arrested for separate homicide of 15-year-old boy in Homewood

Scott reportedly told police he was throwing rocks at windows outside an apartment building on Chauncy Drive, trying to get people’s attention because the music was too loud.

When Maleek approached him and asked who he was, Scott told police he put on a mask, pulled out a gun and shot him.

“We’ve got to save the lives of young people who are dying senselessly in the streets,” said Rev. Paul Abernathy with the Neighborhood Resilience Project.

The Neighborhood Resilience Project has a team that goes straight to the scene when a young person is killed in Pittsburgh.

Rev. Abernathy said it’s time for more volunteers to step up and help the community heal, and make it a safer place to live.

“We have to really examine how we got to this place where a young man can graduate from high school with a bright future ahead of him and lose his life in an instant,” said Rev. Abernathy.

Scott told police that he was shooting in self-defense. He was not permitted to carry a gun after an aggravated assault charge from 2017.

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