PITTSBURGH — On Oct. 15 around 10 p.m., Betty Jean Averytt, 59, and Jacquelyn Mehalic, 33, were gunned down on Cedar Avenue on the North Side after being caught in the middle of a violent fight at a nearby gas station.
The shooting happened a block away from Allegheny General Hospital, a busy street next to a park where people play and where people like Betty Jean Averytt, a mom and a grandmother, lived. She was one of two innocent bystanders who were killed on Saturday night.
“Why can’t we go into our communities and feel safe?,” asked Betty Jean Averytt’s niece, Jamia Averytt.
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“They are killing babies, they are killing all kinds of people, (it) is horrible,” said Patricia Wharton, Betty Jean Averytt’s older sister.
“Innocent people, women, this is crazy,” added LaRhonda Averytt, Betty Jean’s daughter.
The two victims were both mothers, and police confirmed they were innocent bystanders caught up amid gun violence. Betty Jean Averytt’s family is now begging for people to put the guns down.
“Please put the guns down. It’s hurting the city, the world; it hurts,” said LaRhonda Averytt.
The Averytt family said they can’t imagine another family going through what they are dealing with right now, burying a loved one taken too soon.
“My family is broken,” said LaRhonda Averytt.
The family told Channel 11 News they will remember Betty Jean’s larger-than-life personality and kindness.
“My mother was everything, she was a sweetheart,” said LaRhonda Averytt.
Wharton said, “Anything you wanted if she could help you, she would, she got along with everyone.”
The family said that Betty Jean loved fashion.
“The places where she lived were always beautiful. She loved to decorate,” Wharton said.
Her daughter also mourned that her mom won’t get to celebrate her 60th birthday with her grandchildren.
“This is horrible, I have two young men, 20 year(s) old and 16(s) year old. This is hard for them,” said LaRhonda Averytt.
The family has launched a GoFundMe and says they plan to lay their mother to rest in style, just like how she lived.
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