- The Allegheny Police Department has reported that multiple gunmen allegedly opened fire at a “backyard-party,” wounding three, while leaving five dead. According to preliminary reports, the ambush-style mass shootings took place at roughly 11 PM ET in the Wilkinsburg suburb.
The two gunmen in the Pennsylvania shooting are currently at-large as of the time of this writing. Four of the victims were declared dead at the scene, while one victim, a woman, died at local Presbyterian Hospital. Of the three other individuals who were wounded and transported to area hospitals, two remain in critical condition, while one is listed as stable.
Early accounts from nearby neighbors of the Franklin Avenue shooting say that nearly 40 shots rang out as party-goers scrambled to get away from the gunmen. Police ballistics testing indicates that two different weapons were used during the shootings.
Regarding the ballistics analysis, Allegheny Police Lt. Andrew Schurman told had these comments for CBS Pittsburgh.
“There is ballistic evidence that would lead us to believe there is at least two people that discharged weapons into a backyard party or a cookout of some sort at the residence. We do not believe, at this point, anybody that was in that backyard or an attendee of the party fired weapons in return.”
Police have blocked off the surrounding area in hopes of locating the gunmen, who they believe fled on foot. Four of the victims were found lifeless on the residence’s back porch. Of the five deceased victims, one was male, while the other four are female. No identities of the deceased have been released yet.
Police are treating this as an “ambush style” attack and indicated that the shooters may not have been invitees to the party. Early reports are stating that the gunmen attacked in coordinated fashion, firing multiple rounds at different angles. Schurman went on to state:
“It looks like right now they were all fleeing toward the back door of the residence when the second gunman fired from the side of the yard. They all seemed to get caught on the back porch.”
Following the carnage, neighbors of this reportedly quiet residential area spoke to local media outlets WXPI and The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Witness Kayla Alexander had this to say to the local paper concerning the normally calm state of the street.
“This street is always quiet. There’s nothing but kids on this street.”
Another anonymous neighbor gave a sadly contrasting story, going on to state that the chaos “sounded like a war,” as she heard “at least 20 shots ring out.”
This was not the first time that mass-shooting violence has touched the normally docile town of Wilkinsburg.
Back in 2000, Ronald Taylor went on a racially-motivated mass shooting-spree, leaving three dead and two wounded at local fast-food restaurants. For his crimes, Taylor was sentenced to death in 2002.
According to data provided by GunViolencearchive.org, Wednesday night’s mass-shooting was the 25th in the United States since February 14, 2016.
As police search for answers and leads to this heinous crime, the nation searches for answers concerning how to quell this epidemic of bloody violence. Residents of Wilkinsburg Pennsylvania are currently asked to remain vigilant as police work to catch the two perpetrators of this deadly mass shooting.
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