Police seek killer of teen in Carrick

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A Mount Washington teenager died early Monday of gunshot wounds to the neck and spine.

Exactly who shot Michael Palombia, 18, remains unclear. Investigators have labeled his death a homicide.

Pittsburgh police were called shortly before 12:30 a.m. Monday to Brownsville Road and Churchview Avenue in Carrick, where they found Mr. Palombia lying on the sidewalk. Medics took him to UPMC Mercy, where he died at 1:55 a.m., according to the Allegheny County medical examiner's office.

A man whose name police have not released told investigators that he heard people yelling and then heard two gunshots, police spokeswoman Diane Richard said in a news release.

He also told police he then saw two women get into an older-model white Nissan or Toyota and drive off.

Mr. Palombia's father, also named Michael Palombia, said he was working at a pizza shop when his son's mother called to tell him about the shooting. He said he rushed to UPMC Mercy, as did about 30 of his son's friends.

At the hospital, the Palombia family met with city homicide detectives, who questioned them about whether anyone might have a motive or would want to harm the teen. Mr. Palombia struggled for answers.

"I'm still in shock," he said. "I just wish he had not put himself in a bad situation."

Mr. Palombia described his son, a recent Brashear High School graduate, as funny, smart and outgoing. He also said he hoped his son, who was unemployed, would "not get caught up in ... hanging out with the guys."

Court records show the younger Mr. Palombia was arrested in May on charges that he stole an autographed baseball from the bedroom of a man who had died that day and chucked a rock at the home after he argued with those inside.

The younger Mr. Palombia also was arrested in March after narcotics detectives said they saw him throw a cellophane container containing the illegal drug Ecstasy from a car window in Mount Washington. He pleaded guilty as part of a deal that required him to remain on probation for a year.

Mr. Palombia's father said he knew his son drank alcohol but did not think he did hard drugs, emphasizing again that he was a "good kid."

Pittsburgh police said Monday morning that they were "still in the process of interviewing several witnesses regarding this incident."

Detectives asked anyone with information to call homicide detectives at 412-323-7161. Callers may remain anonymous.

Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil. First Published November 25, 2013 10:04 AM


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