Prosecutor: cookout shootings a planned attack

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 10, 2016 12:30 PM

Allegheny County detectives look over the scene of a shooting on Thursday, March 10, 2016 in Wilkinsburg, Pa. Police say multiple people were killed in the shooting late Wednesday and several were injured in suburban Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

(Wilkinsburg) -- A prosecutor says the fatal shootings of five people at a suburban Pittsburgh backyard cookout was a planned, calculated attack, and one of the women killed was pregnant.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala says one of the shooters used a handgun to steer the victims toward the house's porch, where a second gunman picked them off with an AK-47 style rifle. He says the victims were shot in the head.

The five were killed late Wednesday during the backyard party in Wilkinsburg. Two others are in critical condition.

He says as many as 15 people had been at the party.

Identities released

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's office says the victims are 35-year-old Jerry Shelton; 37-year-old Tina Shelton; 27-year-old Brittany Powell; 25-year-old Chanetta Powell; and 26-year-old Shada Mahone.

The medical examiner says Jerry Shelton, Brittany Powell and Chanetta Powell are siblings.

A cousin says the cookout was at Brittany Powell's home.

Police are searching for at least two suspects.

The motive is not known. 

Neighbor says violence is rare

A neighbor says he saw at least three children run onto the porch screaming "Mommy! Mommy!" after the shooting. 

Robert Morris, a 15-year-old who lives across the street from the home, says it was "terrible."

He and his father, Carl Morris, say a black Labrador retriever that had been shot in the tail ran to their house after the shooting.

They say a young woman and her child lived at the home.

Another neighbor, Mike Jones, says violence is rare in the neighborhood.

Published in News

Tagged under , ,

back to top

Give Now

Estate Planning

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Smart Talk

National Edward R. Murrow Awards

DuPont Columbia Awards

Support Local Journalism

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »