The Latest: Fetus death in ambush puts homicide count at 6

AP News
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Posted: Mar 10, 2016 3:37 PM
The Latest: Fetus death in ambush puts homicide count at 6

WILKINSBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on a deadly shooting at a backyard party in a Pittsburgh suburb (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

Authorities say the death of an 8-month-old fetus in a shooting at a backyard cookout near Pittsburgh has been ruled a homicide.

That brings the number of homicides in the late Wednesday night ambush to six.

One man and four women, including pregnant 25-year-old Chanetta Powell, were fatally shot.

A prosecutor says a man with a pistol opened fire on the partygoers, driving them in the direction of an accomplice who gunned them down with a rifle.

District Attorney Stephen Zappala says one or two of those at the party may have been targets of the gunmen. He says the motive remains undetermined, though a drug connection has not been ruled out.

Authorities say they have no suspects.

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3 p.m.

The mother of three of the five people killed by gunmen at a backyard cookout near Pittsburgh says her family was massacred.

A tearful Jessica Shelton said Thursday that it makes no sense for anyone "to take people's lives like that."

Two gunmen are being sought in the late Wednesday night shootings.

A prosecutor says a man with a pistol began firing at the partygoers from an alley behind the house. He says an accomplice with a rifle then shot the victims in the head as they ran back to the house for cover.

Two of Jessica Shelton's daughters, one eight months' pregnant, and one of her sons were killed. She says the other two shot dead were her nieces. Another of her sons' was critically wounded.

The motive isn't known.

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Noon

A prosecutor says the fatal shooting 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.

Police are searching for at least two suspects.

The motive isn't known.

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11:25 a.m.

A medical examiner has released the identities of the five people killed in an ambush-style shooting at a cookout in suburban Pittsburgh.

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.

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

Police are searching for at least two suspects.

The motive isn't known.

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11 a.m.

A neighbor says he saw at least three children run onto the porch screaming "Mommy! Mommy!" after a shooting during a cookout in suburban Pittsburgh left five people dead.

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.

Four women and a man were killed late Wednesday during the cookout in Wilkinsburg. Two others are in critical condition.

Police are searching for at least two suspects.

The motive isn't known.

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10:35 a.m.

Police say two piles of shell casings found outside the suburban Pittsburgh yard where an ambush-style shooting at a cookout left five people dead give a sense of where the gunmen were positioned.

The yard is about 30 feet wide by 50 feet deep. Police say they found one pile of shell casings just outside the yard in an alley. They found more shells along a fence that separates the house from a neighbor's yard, meaning a second gunman was less than 10 feet away from the porch where the victims ran for cover.

Four women and a man were killed late Wednesday during the cookout in Wilkinsburg. Two others are in critical condition.

Police are searching for at least two suspects.

The motive is not known.

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10:05 a.m.

A county official is urging witnesses to come forward in a shooting at a backyard party that left five people dead and three wounded in suburban Pittsburgh.

Four women and a man were killed late Wednesday during the party in Wilkinsburg. Two others are in critical condition.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says if violence is to be stopped, witnesses need to come forward.

Fitzgerald says "we must say enough is enough."

Police are searching for at least two suspects who they say opened fire in an ambush-style attack.

The motive is not known.

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6:45 a.m.

Police are searching for at least two suspects in a shooting at a backyard party that left five people dead and three wounded in suburban Pittsburgh.

Four women and a man were killed late Wednesday during the party in Wilkinsburg. Two men are in critical condition and a woman is stable.

Allegheny County police say the cookout was taking place at the rear of a home on Franklin Avenue when the gunmen appeared just before 11 p.m.

Lt. Andrew Schurman of the Allegheny County homicide unit says they opened fire in an ambush-style attack. He says gunshots came from two distinct locations, but police don't believe anyone at the party fired back.

Four of the victims died on the back porch. The other died at a hospital.

A motive isn't immediately known.