Two men found shot to death in a car in Garfield Tuesday night were on their way to pick up another man when they were killed, Pittsburgh police said Wednesday.
That man called 911 shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday, after he heard five gunshots and went outside to find a black Cadillac Escalade crashed into the back of the Radiant Life Alliance Church on Kincaid Street, police spokeswoman Sonya Toler said.
Inside the car were Jamarow Trowery, 36, who previously resided in Homewood, Penn Hills and Wilkinsburg, and Rashad Freeman, 18, of Verona. Mr. Trowery had been shot in the chest and Mr. Freeman in the neck, according to the Allegheny County medical examiner's office.
Police said Wednesday they were not sure why Mr. Trowery and Mr. Freeman were together in the car or how they knew each other, nor did they have a clear motive for the shooting.
The pair's deaths mark the third double homicide in Pittsburgh in three months.
Jason Eubanks and Cheralynn Sabatasso, a 36-year-old boyfriend and girlfriend, were killed in their car in Knoxville Jan. 23 in what police described as a drug deal gone bad. Antoine Ward, 38, previously of Beltzhoover, was arrested in their deaths and has claimed self-defense.
Sisters Susan and Sarah Wolfe, 44 and 38, were found shot to death in the basement of their home on Chislett Street in East Liberty last month. Police arrested their neighbor Allen Wade, 43, who has said he is innocent.
Court records show previous arrests for Mr. Freeman and Mr. Trowery. Mr. Freeman was arrested by University of Pittsburgh police on gun violations and conspiracy in November and was awaiting an April 21 preliminary hearing.
Mr. Trowery was convicted on a gun violation and a cruelty to animals charge in 2009 after Pittsburgh police said he shot a woman's dog in his back yard in 2007. A judge ordered him to serve 5 to 10 years in prison, but the sentence was vacated in January 2012 after a state Superior Court ruling found that some evidence in the case should have been suppressed at trial. Without that evidence, the Allegheny County district attorney's office decided not to prosecute the case.
Mr. Trowery had two cases pending -- one in which he was charged with driving under the influence and one in which he was accused of attempted homicide after police said he fired shots at and punched and kicked the mother of his two children.
Mr. Trowery was arrested on the attempted homicide charges on New Year's Eve and released from the Allegheny County Jail Jan. 2, after he worked with a bail company to post $20,000 bail, according to court records.
Earlier this month, Pittsburgh police charged Mr. Trowery with driving under the influence and other crimes after they said they spotted him standing near a crashed, rented Chevrolet Impala that was parked the wrong way on Fifth Avenue after colliding with another car near McKee Place.
Police wrote that Mr. Trowery failed field sobriety tests and registered 0.102 and 0.101 on blood-alcohol content tests. The legal limit for driving in Pennsylvania is 0.08.
Relatives for Mr. Trowery and Mr. Freeman either could not be reached or declined to comment Wednesday.
Carl Marcus, the attorney representing Mr. Trowery in his pending cases, said, "I think he was a decent young man. He had issues that will go unresolved at this point. I think he was trying to better himself."
Anyone with information about their deaths is asked to call the homicide squad at 412-323-7161.
Liz Navratil: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1438. First Published March 26, 2014 7:42 AM