One killed, five injured in Strip District drive-by shooting

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Police are searching for at least one suspect in a drive-by shooting that killed one man and injured five early this morning in the Strip District.

Police were called to the parking lot of Art’s Tavern in the 2800 block of Penn Avenue just after 1 a.m. with reports of multiple shots fired, said Pittsburgh police Lt. Daniel Herrmann.

They found a 40-year-old man, identified by the county medical examiner’s office as Tyrone Tomman, of Penn Hills, dead with a gunshot wound to the chest. Five other victims, ranging in age from 34 to 44, are now in area hospitals with gunshot wounds. Two were transported from the scene to UPMC Mercy and are in stable condition, one drove himself to Children’s Hospital of UPMC and is in critical condition, one drove himself to UPMC Presbyterian and is in stable condition and another is at Allegheny General Hospital in stable condition.

Police are searching for a suspect, described as a 6-foot-7, 250 to 270-pound black man, who was wearing a blue shirt and glasses and was seen arguing with the victims prior to the incident.

The crime scene, which spanned an entire block of Penn Avenue, contained 20 shell casings from three different caliber weapons, said Lt. Herrmann.

There were reports of shots coming from both the front and rear windows of a black SUV driving along Penn Avenue, he said, though police are unsure whether there were multiple shooters or one shooter. They also do not know whether those in the parking lot returned fire.

What they believe to be that same SUV -- a Chevy Tahoe -- was found engulfed in flames just after 4 a.m. on the 500 block of Francis Street in the Hill District.

The incident seems to have started inside the Art’s Tavern as a “minor verbal altercation” between members of the Pittsburgh Gentlemen Motorcycle Club, based out of Homewood, and a group identifying as being from the North Side, who complained about the motorcycle noise or parking.

The motorcycle club does not have a history of being associated with criminal activity, said Lt. Herrmann. “We’re not talking about the Pagans and the Hells Angels. This is a social group that gets together to ride motorcycles -- very clean, very expensive motorcycles.”

The manager on duty at Arts Tavern Saturday evening said he could not comment on the incident.

Lt. Herrmann said the investigation is preliminary but “very active” and asked anyone with information to call Pittsburgh police.

First Published August 2, 2014 12:00 AM


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