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Victim dies after being assaulted with BB gun in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH — A male died after being assaulted with a BB gun downtown earlier this week.

The victim appeared to be passed out on a city sidewalk along Coffey Way at the time of the attack. He died two days later.

Police say they know who each of the four suspects are, but it’s not clear if they’ve been criminally charged.

This happened around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night along Coffey Way, which is an alley next to the prestigious Duquesne Club off Sixth Avenue right downtown. In surveillance footage, you can see what appears to be a homeless man, passed out, lying on the sidewalk. Then you can see four young men, possibly teens, with BB guns walk up to the man. They fire at close range, striking him repeatedly in the face and body. One of the suspects even slaps the victim in the face and it appears they record themselves shooting him.

“That’s horrible, that’s terrible,” Maria Owens tells Channel 11. “It’s very sad. Just because they’re homeless, they shouldn’t be treated less of a person, they’re still people. They still eat and sleep like us.”

Eight hours later, an ambulance comes to pick up the victim. It was initially thought to be a suspected drug overdose but doctors found metal shrapnel in his body from BBs. The man died Thursday morning at the hospital.

Nobody even knew what happened to this man until some observant folks noticed something out of the ordinary. Members of the Duquesne Club saw the shattered windows from projectiles and pulled up surveillance video from cameras in the alley. That’s when they saw a man lying on the sidewalk being violently assaulted by four people with BB guns.

That video was turned over to police who opened their investigation. We found a small, gold BB still on the sidewalk where the victim was struck. The alley was covered with feces, urine, garbage and food waste. Folks nearby say it’s also a public health hazard.

“Homeless people already go through enough,” Sciota Napier tells Channel 11 New. “That’s a tragedy.”

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner will be the one to determine the exact cause of death and the identity of the victim.