Pittsburgh police will ramp up patrols on the North Side in upcoming days in an attempt to quell what officials described as a spate of gang-related violence that left two men dead this morning.
Police Chief Nate Harper said the fatal shootings of Deondre Kenney, 15, and Matthew Burton, 21, were the latest in a string of 22 incidents of gunfire on the North Side in the last five days.
"We don't know how they are connected, but we feel there is a connection," Chief Harper said this afternoon. "This type of violence has to stop."
The chief said plainclothesmen and uniformed officers will flood the North Side in search of guns and illegal activity.
The Allegheny County medical examiner's office said Mr. Burton died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head, neck and trunk. The exact cause of Mr. Kenney's death was still pending, a spokesman for the medical examiner's office said.
A passerby spotted the vehicle, a rented blue Chevrolet HHR, about 6 a.m. in the wooded 1900 block of Buena Vista Street, its windows shot out.
Inside were the bodies.
Police believe shots were fired in the 1800 block of Buena Vista and the vehicle continued, coming to rest on the sidewalk. The men had no identification on them, Pittsburgh police Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki said. He would not speculate on a motive for the violence.
About 3 a.m., a man walking on Brighton Road went into the Zone 1 police station to report hearing gunfire in the area of the nearby Family Dollar store. Officers checked the scene but found no evidence.
"The way the car was situated, it was very hard to notice until a pedestrian walked by," Cmdr. Stangrecki said.
He urged anyone with information to call the city's homicide squad at 412-323-7161.
Those living on Rolla Street said they heard what they believed gunshots and saw a vehicle speed up the hill.
One man, who would not give his name for fear of his safety, said the car appeared to be occupied by two young men he did not recognize. The man said he was not concerned enough to call 911 because gunshots are common.
He and other neighbors were stunned when police arrived on their street hours later and told them two people were dead.
Sadie Gurman: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1878. Moriah Balingit contributed. First Published June 28, 2012 11:30 AM