Wilkinsburg Community In Shock After Mass Shooting
WILKINSBURG (KDKA) - Two days after a deadly shooting, the Wilkinsburg community is still shocked by the ambush that left six dead and three injured.
Today, police are still trying to find the gunmen. They believe two shooters were involved and fired on the crowd from two separate angles.
What happened in the backyard of 1304 Franklin Avenue is still what everybody in Wilkinsburg is thinking about and talking about today.
The ATF has offered a $20,000 reward for information that will lead to the arrest of those responsible.
As that's all happening, the community is coming together to get through this tragedy.
"It's a heartbreaking process that's going to take some time for this community to heal over," Mayor John Thompson said.
For Thompson, the mass killing of five people and an unborn child is something that's left him and so many others feel uneasy.
KDKA's Christine D'Antonio Reports:
Thompson said the ambush shouldn't define Wilkinsburg as a dangerous place, but instead motivate community members to help find the two people police believe are responsible.
"This is something that I believe, until the capture is made, that a lot of people are going to be talking about and it's going to take apprehension of these individuals before we can begin to heal," Thompson said.
"This is against every form of decency here. Plotted, premeditated, calculated," Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church Minister Earl Baldwin said.
Sources say the gunmen used an AK-47 and a .40-caliber handgun.
Three people survived, but two remain in the hospital. One of those still in the hospital is Lamont Powell, who law enforcement sources believe may have been the intended target.
KDKA's Paul Martino: "You can't confirm, deny that Powell was the target here?"
Allegheny County Police Lt. Andrew Schurman: "Correct, were not going to speak to that."
In a Facebook post the day of the shooting, Powell writes, "Wer da cookout".
His sister, Brittany Powell replied "I'm cooking out over my house. Come over." She was one of the six victims.
"The investigation is very active and ongoing. But we are not going to release any details concerning where the investigation is leading us," Lt. Schurman said.
Police say they are getting calls on the tip-line set up for the investigation, 1-800-ATF-GUNS. The ATF is putting up a $20,000 reward.
But in the meantime, there is much concern about the safety of witnesses.
"When I think about the family gatherings that we have in our backyard, and you know, to take a family... they took a family out," Thompson said.
KDKA's Bob Allen Reports:
On Saturday, people in Wilkinsburg will have a chance to speak their minds about public safety during a town hall meeting at the South Avenue United Methodist Church.
Borough Councilwoman Vanessa McCarthy-Johnson says now is the time.
"How do we work together, how do we keep the public safe, how do we make this a community that's safe to live in?" said McCarthy-Johnson.
The Allegheny County Department of Human Services is now offering 24 hour crisis support for those in the Wilkinsburg Community.
Center for Victims
24-Hour Crisis Hotline
re:solve Crisis Network
24 Hour Crisis Hotline
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