DETAIL OF INCIDENCE:
Two minors were killed and at least eight other people were injured early Sunday morning in a shooting at a party in Pittsburgh. Shots first rang out at the short-term rental property in the 800 block of Suismon Street just after 12:30 a.m. local time, according to a statement from the Pittsburgh Public Safety Department.
Responding officers arrived at the scene as “several young people were observed fleeing the area on foot and by vehicle” while “additional shots were being registered in the immediate vicinity” of the Airbnb property, per Sunday’s statement.
At a noon press conference on Sunday, Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert said 10 people were taken to local hospitals after the incident (The public safety department initially reported that 11 people had been shot). Two male juveniles, who have not been identified, were pronounced deceased at a local hospital.
“You have alcohol, you have underage people here and you have guns — that’s a deadly combination at any type of an event, and the end result is it’s a tragedy,” Pittsburgh Police Commander John Fisher said at Sunday’s press conference, per WPXI-TV.
Investigators believe “as many as 200 people” were in attendance at the large party when “as many as 50 rounds were fired inside” the residence, Pittsburgh Public Safety said. Some party-goers opted to jump out nearby windows, “sustaining injuries such as broken bones and lacerations” as a result. At Sunday’s press conference, Schubert told reporters that investigators believe multiple shooters were involved after discovering multiple kinds of shell casings at the scene, WPXI-TV reported. Schubert said five people were hurt while escaping the home as shots rang out while another was injured when their car was shot at. Police have not named a motive or any suspects as of Sunday afternoon, according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“We’re not going to sleep until we get who did this,” the chief said. “This shouldn’t have happened. We’re sick of it. We’re going to do everything we can to get those responsible for it.”According to local outlets, the party quickly captured neighbors’ attention Saturday night. One family told WTAE-TV that they left where they were staying downstairs and rented a hotel room upon seeing the party take place. “Two hundred people is a lot. There’s usually a limit. For Airbnb, we would do, maybe, six to eight guests maximum, so I’m not sure how 200 people got in upstairs being undetected,” said Stephen Long, who owns the downstairs unit.
Mitchell Wilston, 30, who lives on a neighboring street, told the Post-Gazette that things began to intensify around 11 p.m. as partygoers lined up outside the residence to get inside. It was like a club,” he explained. “There was a line of people to get in [stretching] to the corner here.” Wilston also believes many of the partygoers were “clearly underage kids,” noting that some “looked like they were 14” years old. Additionally, Wilston said police had been at the apartment earlier in the evening, though the party continued until shots rang out. Airbnb spokesperson Ben Breit told WPXI-TV that the individual who booked the party has been banned from service for life. Breit confirmed that individuals must be 18 or older to book, per Airbnb rules.
The spokesperson also said the host, whose listing prohibited parties and promoted a noise curfew, was unaware of the party being thrown at their residence. Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey condemned the shooting in a statement on Sunday, citing the need to “pass meaningful legislation to lessen the number of guns in our streets or provide the much-needed resources to communities desperately in need.”First and foremost, our hearts and our prayers go out to the victims’ families, their loved ones, and our entire city today,” said Gainey. “Thank you to our first responders, our public safety officials, and to all the hospital and EMS workers providing care to the victims.
He later added, “The time is now for us to move with a sense of urgency to bring justice to the victims and peace to our city.”Pittsburgh City Councilman Bobby Wilson of District 1 added that the East Deutschtown shooting “does not reflect that neighborhood at all. We have been working on our approach to addressing gun violence in our city over the past several weeks,” both men said in their Sunday statements. “Now we will be calling a meeting with public safety and key community leaders to introduce our All In Citywide approach to public safety to get their feedback so we can build a path forward together.”They continued, “It is critical that we come together now to help reduce the violence currently happening while we begin to do the long-term work of ending the culture of violence that is enabling the senseless loss of life we are experiencing today. We must say no more and never again.”