PITTSBURGH — Over the weekend, Gregory Parker was arrested and charged in the 2013 triple shooting that killed 1-year-old Marcus White Jr., aka Baby Marcus.
The family is glad there is a step toward justice, and that something is happening after so long, but they know there is a long way to go. They told Channel 11 they are ready to fight, and their attorney is as well.
“I’m not like ecstatic because, of course, I want everybody involved to be held responsible, but it’s a start,” said Jameela Tyler, White’s mother.
White was shot and killed at a picnic in East Hills in 2013. He wasn’t the only victim.
Shedayah Tyler was holding her nephew when shots rang out. The same bullet that hit her went through White as she held him.
His other aunt was hit as she tried to run and help them. One of the bullets that hit her is still in her body.
They want those who are responsible charged with attempted homicide.
Since that awful tragedy, the family’s fight for justice never stopped, and they said it won’t just because an arrest has been made.
On Monday, the family of White and their attorney filed a lawsuit against Allegheny County and the district attorney in Pittsburgh.
They claim Parker confessed to the crime years ago.
The family’s attorney, Paul Jubas, said the family had given up hope until a major break in January of this year when it was revealed that a confidential witness in the Wilkinsburg massacre case allegedly confessed to being involved in the 2013 murder of White.
District Attorney Stephen Zappala ended up pulling that witness and another witness from both trials.
Parker’s arrest is a small step toward some kind of justice for the family after so many years of waiting and wondering if there would ever be an arrest.
But the attorney for the family says this lawsuit is just the beginning. “This family was in the position where they had to wonder whether they were coming in contact with this individual over the past two years. They felt a mass amount of disrespect. They weren’t treated with dignity and, at this point, it’s time to start demanding answers and start demanding accountability, and we intend in getting to those answers and getting to that accountability with this lawsuit against the district attorney’s office,” Jubas said.
The family of White said the lawsuit is to hold the system accountable — primarily the district attorney’s office for covering up the confession to the murder of a 15-month-old baby and for failing to protect.
We just learned Jubas and his team plan on sending an open letter to the attorney general of Pennsylvania. They want him to take over the investigation instead of Zappala.
“The bigger picture is that the authority of this city really just disregarded the life of my son, and they felt like it was OK. So at the end of the day, that’s the justice that I need. They didn’t pull the trigger, but they may as well have,” Jameela Tyler said.
Channel 11 contacted the district attorney's office about the lawsuit. They sent us the following statement:
“Today’s filing is wrong on the facts and wrong on the law. That said, our office deals with frivolous matters on a regular basis, and this will be dealt with in due course.”
Jubas responded to that statement during a news conference on Tuesday and said there is nothing frivolous about the importance of Black Lives Matter , he also said the district attorney’s office has the facts wrong.
We also contacted the Allegheny County Police Department. A representative said they haven’t seen the paperwork and won’t comment on legal proceedings.
On Tuesday, the family and other rallied in front of the City-County Building in downtown Pittsburgh.
Protesters have very specific demands for Zappala.
They are calling for him to not only be removed from Baby Marcus shooting case, but they are also calling on the removal of Zappala as district attorney.
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