Woman accused of killing cousin in Vandergrift shooting

Woman accused of killing cousin in Vandergrift shooting

VANDERGRIFT, Pa. — A Westmoreland County woman is in custody after a deadly shooting in Vandergrift.

Police have charged Ashley Croft in the shooting death of John Smail, 31, of Greensburg. Channel 11 has learned the two are cousins.

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Investigators said officers were called to the home in the 500 block of Longfellow Street for a report of a home invasion.

When officers arrived, they found Smail dead.

According to the criminal complaint, Croft told officers on the scene that she had been high earlier in the day and was "out of it" when she woke up.

Croft told officers Smail was at her apartment and when he tried to leave she said, "If I'm staying here, you're not leaving alive" and shot him three times.

Upstairs neighbors told police that they heard banging and thuds before shots were fired and that Croft said her cousin was trying to kill her.

Vandergrift police Chief Joseph Caporali said the two were arguing just before the shooting.

"There was some type of comment not an altercation, but a verbal back-and-forth and she felt her life was in danger according to her statements and shot three rounds at the individual striking him three times," Chief Caporali said.

Investigators searched Croft's apartment, where they found three shell casings and two handguns.

Croft has been charged with criminal homicide.