Baby killed, two women injured in shooting in Pittsburgh's East Hills

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A baby was killed and two women were wounded at a picnic in East Hills, when gunfire exploded Tuesday evening.

The shooting happened around 7:30 p.m. off the 2300 block of East Hills Drive in the Second East Hills housing complex, where a group was picnicking in a cul-de-sac.

Possibly three gunmen got out of a vehicle and began firing at the crowd of people, police spokeswoman Diane Richard said. City homicide detectives do not believe that the victims were the intended targets, she said. No arrests had been made late Tuesday night.

One neighbor said it sounded like fireworks had gone off; another said she heard many shots. Police located multiple shell casings.

A 20-year-old woman, who sustained a gunshot wound to the chest and back, was lying on top of the baby when police arrived. She was listed in critical condition.

The other woman who was shot, a 19-year-old, was taken into surgery for her wounds and was listed in serious but stable condition. Both were taken to UPMC Presbyterian.

The 18-month-old boy was transported to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC where he was pronounced dead.

None of the victims' identities had been released Tuesday night, though the women are from the East Hills area, Ms. Richard said.

The complex has security cameras, and police said they were waiting for a technician Tuesday night to review footage.

Reports of gunfire in the area had been building up in the past few weeks, police said.

When police arrived Tuesday evening, Zone 5 Lt. Richard Pritchard said there were hundreds of bystanders and the scene was "pure chaos."

At least 13 marked police units responded to the call, and a crowd of neighbors gathered and looked on from sidewalks and porches.

"I'm feeling hurt," said Claudia Wells, pastor at Grace and Truth Church, which holds services in the East Hills Community Center.

"We're not going to tolerate this. If we have to gate this community, we will."

She said she hoped neighbors in the housing complex would be more watchful and attentive to who was visiting the area.

"Our community has come a long way out of the darkness. ... It was a war zone."

While police were still investigating and daylight hours slipped away, Grace and Truth Church pastors and neighbors planned a gathering to pray for protection and for the families involved.

"We will be there if they need us," assistant pastor Montique Shorter said.

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Lexi Belculfine:, 412-263-1878 or Twitter: @LexiBelc. Moriah Balingit contributed. First Published May 22, 2013 12:00 AM


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