Homestead man charged with killing companion

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A Homestead man shot and killed his companion early Monday after they had been together at bars in Homestead, Braddock and East Liberty, Allegheny County police said.

Ernest G. Williams, 38, was taken into custody by county police about five hours after Jerrmie Fields, 39, of Pittsburgh was shot to death in the street near East 19th Avenue and McClure Street in Homestead, according to a criminal complaint.

County police said they obtained surveillance video from a camera at Hruska Plumbing that captured the 3:20 a.m. shooting.

In the video, Fields is seen exiting the Ford 500 that Williams drove and walking to the back of it, police said. Williams then gets out, moves toward Fields and fires several shots as Fields tries to turn and flee.

When Fields fell to the ground, county police said, Williams moved closer, shot him again and then drove away.

Neighbors said they heard "big booms" or a "loud bang" around the time of the shooting.

"I never thought that it was a gunshot," Rachel Haggerty, 32, said. "I'm not used to things like that."

Fields was pronounced dead at 3:35 a.m. by paramedics at the scene, police said. The Allegheny County medical examiner's office said he died from multiple gunshot wounds to the trunk.

About 8:30 a.m., police stopped a Ford 500 on East 16th Avenue and took Williams into custody. Two red stains on the rear fender and bumper tested positive for human blood, county police said.

Williams told police that after the men had been out, Fields got out at the Homestead intersection and walked away, while he returned to his mother's house.

County police charged Williams with criminal homicide. He also faces a felony count of persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms, as he was previously convicted of aggravated assault.


Lexi Belculfine: lbelculfine@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1878 or on Twitter @LexiBelc. Molly Born and Liz Navratil contributed.

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