Aliquippa's Herb Pope shot

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Aliquippa High School basketball star Herb Pope is in a Pittsburgh hospital after being shot overnight.

Aliquippa coach Marvin Emerson said Pope is in UPMC-Presbyterian Hospital. "The last report I heard is he's OK," Mr. Emerson said.

Mr. Pope, 18, was shot twice in the lower abdomen, once in the left lower arm and once in the thigh, said Aliquippa Police Chief Ralph Pallante.

"From what the detectives told me, [the injuries] didn't appear to be, at this time, life threatening," he added.

In fact, Mr. Pope walked into the emergency department at Aliquippa Community Hospital after someone, whom he did not name, dropped him off and left. He was stabilized and then flown by medical helicopter to UPMC Presbyterian, where he had surgery this morning, the chief said.

"We don't have any word of his condition right now," Chief Pallante said.

Due to patient privacy laws, a spokeswoman for UPMC could not confirm that Mr. Pope was being treated at the hospital.

Aliquippa police officers were called at 3 a.m. about a man lying in the street in the 800 block of 8th Avenue, Chief Pallante said. When they got there, they found Tremaine Foster, who turns 21 next week. He told them that he had a heart condition and needed an ambulance.

Then, the officers got another call about a gunshot victim at the emergency department. One went to the hospital to investigate.

Mr. Pope told the officer that he was at a party in the same area that Mr. Foster was found.

"He stated that he was at a party at that 800 block of 8th Avenue and someone had shot him," the chief said. "He did not know who, did not know why."

Mr. Pope did not say whether he was indoors or outside at the time of the shooting. Mr. Foster, who also attended the party, is fine, and had not been shot, Chief Pallante said.

"Our detective and the Beaver County detectives are actively working this case," he said. "They're trying to gather information about who was there [at the party] that they can speak with."

Investigators will talk to Mr. Pope probably tomorrow or Monday as he recovers from surgery, which could recover some bullet fragments, the chief said.

Mr. Pope, a 6-foot-9 senior, is one of the top players in the state and ranked by some scouting services as one of the top 50 players in the country. Mr. Pope was the Post-Gazette Player of the Year in 2006 after averaging 18.3 points and 15 rebounds per game. He averaged 19 points a game this past season and helped Aliquippa to the WPIAL Class AA championship. He finished his career with 1,568 points. He has lived in a number of homes and attended several different schools. He attended Aliquippa schools through fourth grade. He then lived in the Beaver Falls district from fifth to eighth grade. In eighth grade, he attended Beaver Junior High, and then Montrose Academy in Washington, D.C., as a ninth-grader. The next year, he enrolled at Hopewell before transferring to Aliquippa.

Pope was recruited by a number of major college and has signed with New Mexico State.


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