Moments after two men walked into and then ran out of the office of a McKeesport trucking company Friday night, a friend found the owner and an employee with gunshot wounds.
Voltaire "Volt" Meade, 45, of Clairton, died about a half-hour later in the emergency room of UPMC McKeesport, about three blocks away from Meade Brothers' Trucking Inc., which he owned. The employee, whom friends identified by the nickname "Poncho," was in critical condition at a local hospital Friday night.
For hours, Allegheny County homicide detectives and McKeesport police tried to piece together how the shooting occurred and what might have prompted someone to do it. One by one, they spoke with teary-eyed friends and family members as well as former employees who gathered outside the white-brick building where the shooting occurred shortly before 5 p.m.
One man, who asked that his name not be used, said he was lying in the back of his Chevrolet truck waiting for the two victims to work on his vehicle when he heard someone say, "No, no, no" and heard two gunshots. He saw two figures rush past him and out the side of the small business near the corner of Fifth Avenue and White Street but said he did not see them well enough to be able to provide a description.
Police confirmed that the man was in the building when the shooting occurred. After the other two men fled, he walked into the office, where he found Mr. Meade and the employee lying on the ground, both conscious. He called 911, and medics rushed them to local hospitals.
Lt. Andrew Schurman of the Allegheny County police homicide unit said it was too early Friday night to say what prompted the shooting or whether there might be surveillance footage detectives could use to develop suspect descriptions. He declined to say what kind of gun was used.
Family friends who gathered across the street, just outside the yellow crime scene tape, said they struggled to think of who might open fire on the two men, whom they described as generous and warm-hearted.
"Anybody who knew Volt, you would be close to him," said Jamie Gatewood, a 28-year-old family friend from Duquesne. Ms. Gatewood said Mr. Meade helped her through tough times both morally and financially, offering her occasional secretarial jobs when she was tight on cash.
Her father, James Gatewood, also of Duquesne, said both Mr. Meade and the injured employee would "give you the shirt off his back."
Anyone with information about the shooting or potential suspects is asked to call the county police homicide unit at 412-473-1300.homepage - neigh_east - neigh_south
Liz Navratil: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil.