Shawn Evans got home from his truck driving job about 9 Saturday night and told his wife, Norma Condrin, he wanted a couple of beers at the family-owned bar just down the road in Bloomfield before he turned in. Both Mr. Evans and Ms. Condrin were set to work Sunday morning, she at West Penn Hospital in the dietary department and he as a local driver.
Just hours after she had fallen asleep, she awakened to a nightmare: Her husband had been shot to death in the building she owned, and people in the bar told her it was by a longtime family friend, a Pittsburgh police officer.
Police records say Officer Kenneth Farnan of Bloomfield, who has been on a workers' compensation leave from the bureau since 2010, was taken into custody after the incident. He was released, and police said no arrest would be made until the Allegheny County district attorney's office reviews the case.
A news release from police indicated that a witness said a fight preceded the shooting. It's the same story Ms. Condrin heard.
"Three different people told me they got into an argument," said Ms. Condrin, 57. "This is what happens."
Mr. Farnan, who is 50, according to police documents, could not be reached for comment.
"I just can't believe it happened," Ms. Condrin said Sunday afternoon. "We've known Kenny for years. I used to rent [an apartment] to him even. We never had a single problem. Not until last night." Mr. Evans, 56, was shot to death at 2:24 a.m. inside the bar, called Condrin's Tavern, at 4501 Torley St. in Bloomfield, according to Pittsburgh police Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki. Ms. Condrin said she's owned the building since 1972, though the business is run by her brother. She said the bar has never been marred by serious trouble until early Sunday morning, when she lost her husband of 21 years to what she was told was three gunshot wounds. Cmdr. Stangrecki said Mr. Evans was dead when emergency responders arrived at the scene. The Allegheny County medical examiner's office was to conduct an autopsy.
Mr. Farnan initially was taken to police headquarters following the incident but he was not incarcerated, according to officials at the Allegheny County Jail.
Mike Manko, a spokesman for the district attorney, said his office's involvement in the case is normal protocol for an incident involving a police officer, even if the police officer is on a medical leave. "For several years, we've had a memo of understanding; if there is an incident involving an officer, we review the incident. Our involvement is a normal thing," Mr. Manko said.
Authorities are asking anyone with information to call the city's homicide squad at 412-323-7161. Callers may remain anonymous.
Meantime, Ms. Condrin is trying to make sense of it all. She said she's getting through with the help of her extensive family and network of friends. Mr. Evans has two sons, ages 32 and 28.
He and Ms. Condrin have an 18-year-old daughter, who is a freshman at college. "We have a new baby in the family and he won't be able to see his grandson now," Ms. Condrin lamented.
Ms. Condrin said she and her husband have known Mr. Farnan for many years. She said he visited the family's tavern a couple of times in the past year, after moving back to Bloomfield from Lawrenceville.
"My husband and him were friends. I was friends with him. We were all friends." she said.
Police declined to release additional information about the details or even to officially identify Mr. Farnan as a suspect.
Karen Kane: firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-772-9180. Liz Navratil contributed. First Published September 8, 2013 5:15 AM