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'You took a piece of my heart': Grandmother of Woodland Hills student killed in shooting mourns loss

Grandmother of Woodland Hills student killed in shooting mourns loss
Grandmother of Woodland Hills student killed in shooting mourns loss 02:26

BRADDOCK, Pa. (KDKA) — Over the weekend, two high school seniors were gunned down in Braddock, and a third teen is fighting for his life.  

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said Nazir Parker and Rimel Williamson, both 17 years old, were killed in a shooting on Sunday night. They both attended Woodland Hills High School.

braddock shooting victim
17-year-old Nazir Parker was shot and killed on Aug. 27, 2023 in Braddock.  Provided

The grandmother of Parker said whoever did this has no clue how much pain they have caused.  

"This is the last thing that anybody should have to go through. I would never want to see a parent bury their child," Wandalyn Middlebrook said.  

According to Allegheny County police, a housing authority officer heard gunshots at around 11 p.m. on Sunday. Neighbors said it was a round of bullets, silence, and more gunfire. Officers found Williamson and Parker dead at Margaretta and Center streets. 

"You took a piece of my heart, a piece of my daughter's heart. You took him away from his parents, his grandparents, his siblings. I'm upset. I just want you to get caught. Step up. Admit to what you did," Middlebrook said.  

Williamson's father said his son just got his license, while Parker was looking toward what would come after graduation.  

"He was happy. He had a smile that could light up a room," Middlebrook said of Parker.  

Police said they found a third victim with gunshot wounds to the chest. He was taken to a hospital in critical but stable condition.  

Woodland Hills Superintendent Dr. Daniel Castagna released this statement to parents and families of the district on Monday morning.

"Our hearts are broken this morning as we learn details of the tragic shooting yesterday in Braddock. Incidents like these are what we work tirelessly to prevent," Castagna said. "As we pray for and support the families impacted by this violence, we also wanted to make everyone aware of help we can offer through this time. This morning and for the next few weeks, additional services for both students and staff will be present and in place. School must go on, but families who choose to keep their child home to help deal with the loss will have the absence excused. Our collective grief must today be the anchor that holds us together so we can help our children and each other. The mourning and heart ache we feel must turn our pain into action to stop these violent acts."

Justice is what Parker and Williamson's families are looking for now.   

"I never thought for a moment that one of my grandkids would be taken away from me," Middlebrook said.  

At this point, there have been no arrests. Allegheny County police said anyone with information is asked to call its tip line.  

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