PITTSBURGH — A 15-year-old boy was arrested after three males were shot in Pittsburgh’s South Side early Friday morning, police said.
Investigators said the males were found in multiple locations after shots were first reported just after 1:30 a.m. in the area of South 18th and East Carson streets. Officers were able to help treat at least two of the males until paramedics got to them.
(Below is a map showing the area where the shooting was reported.)
The 15-year-old who was arrested is from Clairton. He has not been identified, but police said he is being charged as an adult with criminal attempted homicide, aggravated assault, gun offenses, criminal mischief and recklessly endangering another person.
One of the males was taken to a hospital in critical condition and the other two were taken to hospitals in serious condition, officials said.
The male who was in critical condition was shot in the chest, police said. He was found at South 18th and Sidney streets.
Another male who was shot flagged down a paramedic at South 10th and Muriel streets, according to authorities.
Multiple weapons were recovered and four people were detained as investigators processed the multiple scenes related to the shooting.
“I have to compliment the officers and their quick work,” Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said. “Like the chief said, we have multiple witnesses that were actually held, as well as some individuals being detained, and that would not have happened if it wasn’t for the quick work of the officers and, of course, the fast response of the paramedics.”
At least two bullet holes were seen in a window of the PNC Bank at the intersection of East Carson and South 18th streets.
East Carson Street was closed from South 15th Street to South 18th Street until 4:30 a.m.
As police were responding, officers were near a restaurant when they saw a male being beaten. It was a situation unrelated to the gunfire.
Police intervened and one officer ended up hurt. Officials said a man tried to pull the officer’s service weapon and a woman attacked the officer. A man and woman, Kerwan Highsmith and La’Qrisha Williams, are now being charged in that scuffle.
The area of the South Side where Friday morning’s shooting happened is packed with people on the weekends, starting Thursday night. The crowds linger long after bars close.
Brendan McSwiggen was at Cambod-Ican Kitchen on East Carson Street when the shooting happened.
“I looked out and just saw a whole crowd of people running,” McSwiggen said.
The crowd ran from the area of South 18th and East Carson streets, where the gunshots rang out.
Noah Lewis lives on South 18th Street and heard the gunfire.
“There just needs to be more presence around here, because every time we look around the corner there’s another group of people getting in a car, driving around, looking for somebody to shoot at. It’s just not safe,” Lewis said.
IMPROVING SOUTH SIDE SAFETY
Pittsburgh police have been working to improve safety in the South Side, and officials said they have been afraid that something like Friday’s shooting would happen.
There has been an increase in violence in recent months in the South Side, including shootings and fights. Also, as more people return to the area following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, sidewalks have become more crowded and more people are walking into streets, leading to some instances in which people have been hit by cars.
Police have increased patrols, as well as the presence of surveillance cameras. Spotlights have also been added to improve lighting in the area. In addition, there have been talks about setting up a police substation in the South Side.
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Because of increased patrols, Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said officers were able to quickly get to the shooting victims on Friday morning.
Officials tell Channel 11 that dozens of police were already present when the violence erupted, enabling officers to quickly respond.
Now, police are adding even more officers to the area, along with additional security cameras and street lights.
City leaders say businesses have been cooperating with law enforcement by checking patron IDs and even patting people down as they enter.
In the coming days, leaders expect to announce plans to decrease vehicular traffic in the area.
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