PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A 15-year-old has been arrested in connection with a shooting that sent three men to the hospital on the South Side.
The suspect from Clairton is facing multiple charges, including criminal attempt homicide, aggravated assault and gun offenses. He will be charged as an adult, according to Pittsburgh Police, but his name has not been released.
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It was a chaotic scene early Friday morning on East Carson Street. Multiple shots were fired and some of those shots hit buildings like the PNC Bank branch, as two large bullet holes could be seen in the window.
“People are just running for safety to get to a safe space. For our officers, they don’t know who’s fleeing for safety and who’s fleeing for fear of being arrested or caught. It’s a very difficult situation to manage when you have thousands of people on Carson,” said Pittsburgh Public Safety Assistant Director Shatara Murphy.
Three men were hospitalized after the shooting. As of Friday morning, one was in critical condition and the other two victims were in serious condition.
The shooting happened around 1:30 a.m. Friday morning. The shots rang out just as the bars were closing up.
“It’s becoming a regular event where officers are trying to deescalate a situation to no avail. I witnessed it myself last night, I arrived shortly after the shooting. Officers were trying to secure the scene and asked individuals to leave,” said Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich.
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The shooting wasn’t the only crime that happened on the same block at the same time Friday night. Police say a suspect punched a victim in front of police and when officers chased him, that suspect tried taking the officer’s gun while a woman punched the officer.
Both were taken into custody and that incident is still under investigation.
“We have a lot of under-21-year-olds who are frequenting South Side because they have nothing to do. We want to keep in mind we are still in a pandemic, a lot of businesses have closed and the bar industry has been hit hard and South Side has a few good places and people just want something to do,” Murphy said.
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Phil Bruce has lived there for 21 years and says he’s seen violence come and go.
“Ever since they lifted all of the restrictions, it seems like the violence has just jumped,” Bruce said.
He says something needs to be done.
“I see signs on my neighbors’ windows that say, ‘stop the gun violence now,’ but that sign isn’t gonna do anything. You gotta get these kids to stop carrying guns,” he said.
Police have said there were multiple witnesses and multiple weapons in the shooting. It is not known at this time how many shooters were involved or the motive behind it.
“I have to compliment the officers and their quick work as the chief said, we do have multiple witnesses that were actually held as well as some individuals being detained and that would not have happened if it wasn’t for the quick work of the officers,” said Hissrich.
Moving forward, Public Safety said that we can expect to see more cameras, additional lighting and an increase in officers to try and curb violence.
“We will, without getting into the numbers, we will build up and place additional officers to include plainclothes officers in the upcoming evenings where we are having problems,” Hissrich said.
Among the planned preventative measures, Public Safety also said that they are looking into changing traffic patterns on the South Side. The changes on East Carson Street would allow more space for pedestrians and room for emergency vehicles.
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“We are having a serious problem, that it doesn’t matter if the officers are there or not, there is just ongoing violence,” Hissrich said.