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Police: Man Shot, Nearly Decapitated His 71-Year-Old Roommate

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CARRICK (KDKA) -- Police say a 35-year-old man shot, stabbed and nearly decapitated his 71-year-old roommate and killed his dog in Carrick.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Joseph Martin, of Pittsburgh, in connection to the deaths of Martin's roommate, Ricardo Tobia, and Tobia's dog, Sparky.

Ricardo Tobia and his dog Sparky (Source: Facebook)

According to a criminal complaint, Martin showed up at his mother's house on July 5 and was involuntarily committed to the Jefferson Hospital Psychiatric Ward based on his behavior and previous mental health related issues. Martin's mother said he had two knives with him and she found a gun and bullets in his vehicle.

On July 6, Martin's mother spoke to him on the phone and he told her he had been having nightmares and that "demons took over and he thinks he hurt Rick [Martin's roommate, Ricardo Tobia]."

Martin's mother then spoke to her daughter, who made multiple unsuccessful attempts to contact Tobia. When she couldn't reach Tobia, Martin's sister called the police.

ricardo tobia
(Photo Credit: Facebook)

Officers went to Martin and Tobia's house in the 500 block of Kirk Avenue around 12:30 a.m. on July 7 and found the storm door was shut but the wooden front door was open.

Inside the home, they found Tobia dead in the back bedroom. Police say Tobia had been stabbed and cut multiple times and was nearly decapitated. Tobia's dog was also found dead with its throat apparently cut. Officers found a sword and a knife in the bedroom.

The criminal complaint says there were blood spatters and bloody footprints in multiple areas of the house.

The Allegheny County medical examiner found that both Tobia and the dog had been shot in the head. The medical examiner determined that Tobia died from the multiple stab wounds.

Police found blood on clothes and shoes that Martin was wearing when he showed up at his mother's house, and the tread pattern on shoes Martin left at his mother's house matched the tread pattern of the bloody footprints at the scene of the crime.

Officers also discovered that Martin had previously been accused of threatening Tobia with a sword, including incidents in 2006 and 2016.

Martin is facing charges of criminal homicide and aggravated cruelty to animals.

Tobia was a voice instructor at Point Park University.

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