17-year-old among those killed at Pittsburgh graduation party shooting

PITTSBURGH — A triple shooting during a graduation party at an Airbnb left two people dead and one other person hurt late Tuesday night in Pittsburgh’s Hill District.

Officers responded about 11:30 p.m. to the area of McNeil Place after a ShotSpotter notification alerted them to multiple shots fired.

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A man was found dead at the scene, along with a young woman who was on a porch suffering from a gunshot wound to her upper body, authorities said. The woman was taken to a hospital in critical condition after officers pulled her about a block away to safety and waited for paramedics. She later died.

The third shooting victim, who suffered minor grazing injuries, got to a hospital on their own, police said.

The female victim has been identified as 17-year-old Alexus N. Chester of Pittsburgh. Chester's family said she was celebrating her birthday that night. They said she was a junior at the Student Achievement Center.

Her family sent a statement to Channel 11:

"June 11 was a special birthday for Alexus she was excited to take her driving permit test and  was delighted to hear a friend was having a party on her birthday . This was the second party she attended in her life that was not a family event. Just to emphasize that day June 11th, it was  her 17th birthday and she just wanted to have fun. "

"She attended Pittsburgh public schools and was becoming more focused on her grades because She wanted to become a pediatrician .She wanted to work at children’s hospital and work on the neonatal unit . She also was an inspiring designer, her line was going to be called “Milly’s closet” . Milly Lee is a name her close friends called her, this is based off of her clothing line. She was bright, loving and kind to everyone who knew her. She loved to help others."

The male victim has been identified as 20-year-old Tyrese  Smith.

"Why would you go to a graduation party with a gun and shoot somebody? You killed my grandson. There's not much more to say than that. It hurts real bad," said Vivian Smith, grandmother of shooting victim Tyrese Smith.

Smith's family said he was only 20-years-old and a soon-to-be father. A vigil was held Wednesday night in honor of Smith.

Neighbors told Channel 11 News teenagers were at the home, which operates as an Airbnb, celebrating a graduation and birthday. They said the home is rented out regularly.

A motive for the shooting is unclear and no arrests have been made.

Airbnb sent the following statement to Channel 11 regarding the shooting:

We are horrified by the loss of life, and our thoughts are with the victims of this senseless tragedy. The reported behavior violates everything our global community stands for. We have removed the guest associated with the reservation while we urgently investigate the incident and stand ready to support Pittsburgh PD.