PITTSBURGH — A violent holiday weekend across the city left four people hurt in three separate shootings, including three children under the age of 18.
In a span of 24 hours over the Memorial Day weekend, Pittsburgh Police responded to a double shooting and two other shootings that sent all the victims to the hospital.
A gunfight in the city’s Hill District early Monday morning left a woman caught in the crossfire. Gunfire erupted around 2 a.m. on Bedford Avenue.
Police said the woman’s head was grazed by a bullet after a fight broke out between two men that ended with the men shooting at each other.
The woman is expected to make a full recovery.
A few hours before that gunfight, detectives and a police K9 were investigating a double shooting in the city’s Homewood North neighborhood.
“Too many lives are being wasted for nothing,” said Connie Street, who lives in the neighborhood.
Police said two boys were hurt on Nolan Court and were rushed to Children’s Hospital. They’re also expected to recover.
Neighbors are fed up with the gun violence.
“Sad,” Street said. “I’m tired of this. I’m so tired of all these guns and people who don’t know how to use them, having them. There’s got to be some kind of way to get these guns off the streets.”
Sunday afternoon, a teen was wounded in the city’s Lincoln-Lemington neighborhood. The 16-year-old boy is recovering after he was shot in the leg at Larimer Avenue and Deary Street.
Mayor Ed Gainey said part of the problem is easy access to guns.
“If you flood the street with guns, what did you think the return was going to be?” he said.
Gainey, along with the new police chief Larry Scirotto, believes making their own gun laws on a city level could be the answer.
“We’re the ones that deal with that violence on a daily basis,” Scirotto said. “We’re the ones to see the trauma caused by firearms, and yet we don’t have the ability to control how they’re regulated throughout our city. I understand the sentiment behind it. I understand the desire to do it, but I also understand the obstacles that exist to create local ordinances that supersede state law.”
Meantime, State Rep. Arvind Venkat, D-Allegheny, is co-sponsoring four gun reform laws that he believes will keep guns out of the hands of children and curb violent crime.
He hopes two bills — one calling for universal background checks and the other calling for a so-called “Red Flag Law” — will pass in the Republican-led Senate. Red Flag Laws would limit access to guns for people considered to be a threat to themselves or others.
“I feel very strongly that this is a public health threat and that if it’s the person and not the gun, we should be able to enact laws such as Red Flag Laws, background checks, that keeps guns out of the hands of those who’ve shown a propensity for violence without infringing upon constitutional rights,” Venkat said.
Two other bills Venkat proposed have not yet been passed along to the Senate.
Meanwhile, anyone with information on the shootings is asked to call Pittsburgh Police.
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