Man charged in murder is same person accused of brutal beating at Pittsburgh high school

PITTSBURGH — A 20-year-old man who was charged with murder on Monday is the same man seen in a shocking cell phone video at Brashear High School brutally attacking a fellow student two years ago.

The victim’s family is speaking out about the school assault, and they believe the deadly shooting in the Allentown section of Pittsburgh should have never happened.

Chief Investigator Rick Earle spoke with Eric Pettus, who lives in Florida.

Earle: “Do you think the criminal justice system failed you?”

Pettus: “I know it did. Definitely. Definitely.”

Pettus told Earle that he’s not surprised that Quincey Gurske, who’s also known as Quincey Garland, is now accused of that deadly shooting that killed one and wounded others.

“I knew it would be a matter of time before this young man would be back in front of the judge again,” said Pettus during an interview Tuesday morning from his home in Florida.

Two years ago, Pettus’ cousin, Ny’ Hier Williams, was brutally body slammed and repeatedly stomped in the head unconscious as seen in cell phone video at Brashear High School.

Quiney Garland, as he was known then, was charged with aggravated assault.

But at trial last July, Pettus said prosecutors opted not to introduce videos of several previous attacks. Pettus said the last attack was the fourth time Garland had assaulted Williams.

No charges were filed in the three previous incidents.

Pettus said he had a conversation with the prosecuting attorney.

“I flat out told her before the trial, if you don’t bring that evidence then there’s no, there’s no real case because the video that you saw it doesn’t show enough to show how it started, but when you look at the totality of the other events you can see how these things started. It just you know it was unconscionable that they would not bring that evidence forth,” said Pettus.

Garland was found not guilty, even though it was all caught on video.

“Even with the multiple kicks to the head while unconscious on the floor, it was perceived as just you know in the throes of battle,” said Pettus.

Pettus’ cousin also filed a federal lawsuit against the Pittsburgh school district accusing them of failing to protect him.

His mother had pulled him out of school after the three previous incidents and she met with administrators who told her they had a plan to keep her son safe.

That didn’t happen. She allowed him to return to Brashear and he was attacked again.

The principal was suspended after the assault and the district launched an investigation to determine how this happened.

“He’s never going to be the same. Traumatic brain injury. There’s not going to be a cure for that and he has a life-changing and life-altering injury,” said Pettus.

Previous coverage: Former Brashear student who was beaten, stomped by classmate suing Pittsburgh Public Schools

Pettus believes if the justice system had worked, the shooting would not have happened.

He said Garland could have gotten up to five years in prison for the assault and likely would have still been in prison if he had been convicted.

“Everyone in the family is just appalled, and just our heart goes out to those victims and their families because this in our opinion, this was preventable, had the proper case been presented,” said Pettus.

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s office prosecuted the case. Earle reached out to them but hasn’t heard back.

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