Police say man shot dead for relieving himself off balcony

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A Wilkinsburg man was shot to death apparently because he urinated off a porch railing during a break from a dominos game, Allegheny County homicide detectives said Wednesday.

The gunman was standing almost directly below Roosevelt Robinson, 35, about 11 p.m. Tuesday, when he took a break to relieve himself, aiming over the second-floor balcony of the home in the 1100 block of Franklin Avenue.

His friends heard a voice from below call out, "Yo! Yo!" before at least three gunshots sounded and Mr. Robinson collapsed, Allegheny County homicide Lt. Andrew Schurman said. Witness accounts to police suggest the shooter was upset about getting hit by the stream.

Mr. Robinson was struck once and pronounced dead at UPMC Mercy at 11:34 p.m. Homicide detectives Wednesday studied a makeshift pathway between 1107 and 1111 Franklin Avenue, where people often walk to get to the street. Young people sometimes gather there, the lieutenant said.

Police said they believed the shots were fired at close range. People gathered on the porch lamented the violence but said they did not want to talk about Mr. Robinson's death.

Police said it was at least the third killing in recent years on the block, which includes a convenience store at the corner of Swissvale Avenue.

Mr. Robinson's shooting was also the 11th homicide of the year in Wilkinsburg, a community that saw just two killings in all of 2011.

Wilkinsburg police have said they are trying to crack down on the gun violence by better enforcing curfew violations, among other methods.

Police Chief Ophelia "Cookie" Coleman, who in the past has attributed much of the violence to drugs and groups of feuding young people, did not return calls seeking comment Wednesday.


Sadie Gurman: sgurman@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1878.


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