Woman shot, killed in Braddock; police say incident started as neighborhood dispute

BRADDOCK, Pa. — A woman who was shot and killed in Braddock on Sunday has been identified, and state police say the shooting started as a neighborhood dispute.

Erica Vail, 43, was shot in the 500 block of Corey Avenue in Braddock around 7:30 p.m.

She was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital, where she was pronounced dead around 8:20 p.m., according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner.

State police say a dispute became physical, resulting in a fight among residents of Corey Avenue. Vail was shot in the abdomen by an unknown suspect, they said.

Jennifer Williams is a family member of the victim, 43-year-old Erica Vail. She said Vail was a mother to three children.

“It was senseless, it was pointless, it didn’t have to come to this,” Williams said. “They’re going to have to move, they can’t stay here. We have to use better tactics when we get into arguments than resorting to violence and shooting.”

Even though the Braddock Police Department is just a block away down Corey Avenue, not a single Braddock Police officer responded to the homicide at the apartment building Sunday night. It was actually an Allegheny County Housing Authority Officer who was first on the scene. State police have now taken over the investigation.

According to the Allegheny County Housing Authority Police Department, an officer was called to Corey Avenue because there were no officers from Braddock on duty at the time. It is unknown what the initial call for the officer was for.

“We understand some police departments might not have the manpower some days to cover some shifts,” Trooper Rocco Gagliardi said.

Williams says this is a major public safety concern. She also questions if Erica Vail got the lifesaving measures she needed before it was too late.

“We need to figure out what we’re going to do in terms of protecting these people who live in this community,” Williams said. “It’s not safe, just not safe.”

Braddock chose not to regionalize with other local police departments including East Pittsburgh, Rankin and North Braddock. Channel 11 tried to get in touch with the police chief, mayor and local elected officials about this decision. We did not hear back.

A Channel 11 crew at the scene said law enforcement is still in the area and police tape remains up.

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