A man killed along the East Busway in Homewood last week was likely an innocent victim who caught the attention of three people who hoped to commit a robbery, Pittsburgh police said Tuesday.
Jordan Bey, 16, of Homewood was arrested Monday night on charges of homicide, robbery, conspiracy and a gun violation in the Oct. 8 shooting death of Omar Islam, 21. Two other suspects are being sought.
Police said Jordan shot Mr. Islam seven times while two others -- 20-year-old Desmond Young of Homewood and a man known to police only as Blue -- aided in the robbery.
"We have nothing to show that [Mr. Islam] was involved in criminal activity or anything that certainly would precipitate any type of violence against him," Major Crimes Lt. Kevin Kraus said Tuesday. "We do consider him a true innocent victim."
Pittsburgh police said Jordan, Mr. Young and Blue met at a home in Homewood Oct. 8 and decided to rob someone. They tried first to find a victim on Facebook and when that failed, staked out an ATM on North Homewood Avenue to no avail, police said.
"It was at that point they began to walk toward the busway," Lt. Kraus said. "From what we understand, they observed the victim sitting on a bench. He was operating an electronic device."
Police said one of the men checked out the scene and, when he saw Mr. Islam was alone, signaled the other two. They said Jordan demanded Mr. Islam's phone and a scuffle ensued between 11:40 and 11:45 p.m.
Jordan shot Mr. Islam once in the right leg and Mr. Islam was "hobbling away from them" when Jordan fired five shots into his back, Lt. Kraus said. The trio ran away.
But before they left, police said, Jordan turned around and fired one bullet into Mr. Islam's head.
When homicide detectives arrived at the scene shortly after midnight, other officers had already blocked off the crime scene, and Mr. Islam was lying dead on the ground near a bench. His cell phone was missing.
Officers reviewed surveillance footage and later found a car that left the busway around the time of the shooting.
Police would not say how specifically they arrived at Jordan as a suspect, except to say their investigation included information from interviews conducted with family members and from others in the community.
Pittsburgh police found Jordan at a relative's home in Duquesne Monday evening and took him to their North Side headquarters for questioning. There, he said he "must have blacked out because he just started shooting the victim," according to a criminal complaint.
Jordan, who has been charged as an adult, is being held in the Allegheny County Jail without bail while he awaits an Oct. 25 preliminary hearing. He was the only one charged in connection with the case as of Tuesday night.
Police are asking anyone with information about Mr. Young or Blue to call homicide detectives at 412-323-7161.
Liz Navratil: email@example.com, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil. First Published October 15, 2013 6:20 AM