Man killed by masked pair in Monessen friend's home

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Two masked gunmen entered a Monessen home late Tuesday night and killed a man who had been recently released on drug charges, police said today.

Dennis Fitzwater, 31, was bound, shot in the throat and killed by the gunmen who entered the home where he was staying on Chestnut Street.

Police received a 911 call around 11:30 p.m. from a woman who lives at the home with her boyfriend and two young children, ages 2 and 5, none of whom were harmed. Fitzwater, a friend, was staying at the home, according to Monssen police Chief John Mandarino.

Police said they arrived to find Fitzwater with duct tape on one wrist, appearing as if he had been bound and broken free.

There were no signs of forced entry at the home, so police remain unsure how the suspects, who were described as two African American males, entered the home. 

Chief Mandarino said nothing was taken from the home, and the attack was not random.

“They were there for a purpose,” he said. “What the purpose was is still under investigation.”

Fitzwater was released Thursday from Westmoreland County Prison where he had been held since a May 17 arrest on drug charges. His recent arrest was the latest addition to a lengthy criminal record, including a 2008 guilty plea to felony drug charges.

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.




Molly Born contributed reporting to this story. First Published May 28, 2014 11:23 AM


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