Man shot 15 years ago in downtown Pittsburgh parking garage dies in hospital

Man shot 15 years ago in downtown Pittsburgh parking garage dies in hospital

PITTSBURGH — A man shot in a Pittsburgh parking garage has died nearly 16 years later.

On January 3, 2003, Michael Lahoff was shot during an attempted robbery on the 7th floor of the Smithfield Liberty garage. Police at the time said cash and papers were spread all over the garage floor when they arrived.

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Lahoff told police during their investigation that he had been approached by two people while unloading tools from his work vehicle. One of them put a gun to his head and demanded money, but when Lahoff handed over his wallet, he was still shot.

The shooting left Lahoff paralyzed from the neck down.

One year after the shooting, on Feb. 9, 2004, Channel 11's Rick Earle spoke to Lahoff about his recovery.

"I spend as little time possible thinking about the problems I have and most of the time planning ahead for the things I can do," Lahoff said at the time. "As time goes by you get used to the injury. You start to be more able to deal with it."

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In 2004, Lahoff didn't want to talk about what happened due to the ongoing trial, but he did say he was focusing on the positives.

"I can't say 'I give in' to anger. I've got too many other things to think about," he said.

In 2005, Marty Armstrong, 20, was found guilty of attempted homicide and sentenced to 25-50 years in prison. Lamont Fulton, then 19, was found guilty of robbery, aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy and sentenced to 15-30 years in prison.

During the trials in 2005, Lahoff appeared in court in a wheelchair.

During the trial, Armstrong testified that he had stolen the gun from an Army recruiter he was staying with. He had been set to attend basic training in the summer of 2003, about six months after the shooting.

Because Lahoff had been working at the time he was shot, the insurance company covered his medical bills. Following the shooting, the insurance company filed a lawsuit against the US Army for giving Armstrong access to the pistol that was used, but a judge dismissed that case in 2008.