Man shot, killed in McCandless; suspect in custody

MCCANDLESS, Pa. — Police are investigating after a man was shot and killed in McCandless Saturday morning.

According to Allegheny County 911, units were called to the 700 block of Nineteen North Drive at 6:57 a.m.

Kayla Barber, who lives at Nineteen North Apartments & Townhomes, said she was walking her dogs when she saw officers rush to the scene.

“I saw the cop cars coming in, the EMS squad car coming in, and I just saw a bunch of people running,” she said. “I went to wake my boyfriend up and all of a sudden, we got pounding on our door.”

Police said officers were on their way to the home for a mental health call when that emergency quickly turned into a call for shots fired.

“I’m a little shook,” said Ricky Rosenthal, who lives in the same building where the shooting happened. “It doesn’t seem like a place where this would happen. It’s McCandless. This is just a really nice area to live in.”

At the scene, first responders found a man, later identified by the Medical Examiner’s Office as Richard Coward, 39, who had been shot in an unspecified location. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Another man was taken into custody at the scene.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God. This is two apartments down,’” Barber said. “It’s crazy.”

Police Chief Ryan Hawk said mental health calls are becoming more common, with officers handling a majority of those calls.

“We try to equip our officers with the proper training,” Hawk said. “We obviously reach out whenever we need to and get services for folks that need them. We’re trying to find any and all avenues of help for folks in need.”

It’s unclear what the relationship is between the two men and how the shooting unfolded.

Barber didn’t know Coward but said she’s thinking about his family.

“No one deserves that,” she said. “It’s just very heartbreaking.”

Homicide detectives with Allegheny County Police are leading the investigation.

Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to call the County Police Tip Line 1-833-ALL-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous.

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