PITTSBURGH — 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 are now investigating a deadly shooting in the South Side Slopes, hours after a violent night rocked a different part of the neighborhood.
According to police, after the shooting, a friend of the victim started to drive them to the hospital but stopped after seeing police patrolling the area. The friend then asked the officers for help.
Unfortunately, after they tried to render aid, Darian Simpkins, 29, of Homestead died. The Pittsburgh police chief had this to say.
“It’s concerning with the level of violence that’s going on in the city of Pittsburgh. The number of people carrying guns and here, once again, area kids are playing football, and to have someone shot is unacceptable. This has to stop,” said Scott Schubert.
Witnesses told us this happened near a youth football game. Police said children as young as 12 are hanging out in the middle of the night along Carson Street.
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.
Public safety officials said bars and restaurants are cooperating.
“They’re checking IDs like they should. They’re patting people down or wanding them and not allowing people in with weapons,” said Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich.
But they said this needs to be a community effort to combat the violence.
[DOWNLOAD: Free WPXI apps for alerts as news breaks]
“We don’t want our babies going to jail. We don’t want our babies shooting one another,” Deputy Director of Community Affairs Shatara Murphy said.
Public safety leaders said they’re concerned the violence could worsen in the coming weeks when colleges go back, as many bars and restaurants in Oakland are closed.