2 found dead after gunshots heard in Hempfield
Two people from the Pittsburgh area were found dead Wednesday inside a car that was in the parking lot of a popular Hempfield restaurant.
State police identified the victims as Matthew V. Russo, 21, and his mother, Mary K. Russo, 53, both of Van Wyck Avenue, Brentwood.
Trooper Steve Limani said employees of Red Lobster restaurant heard gunshots around 4:20 p.m. and went outside to investigate. Limani said the employees saw two people who appeared to be dead inside the victim's Chevrolet Cavalier, which was parked about 50 feet from the restaurant, located at the intersection of Slate Run Road and Route 30.
Both victims appeared to have sustained gunshot wounds, but which wounds were self-inflicted and which were inflicted by another person remains under investigation, according to the Westmoreland County Coroner's Office.
The victims were pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Coroner Joshua C. Zappone, and the cause and manner of the deaths remain under investigation.
"The victims appear to have been shot," Limani told reporters at the scene. He added that "there is no gunman on the loose" but stopped short of calling the shooting a murder-suicide.
Police said the preliminary investigation indicated both victims died of a gunshot wound. "No physical evidence was found that would indicate any other person was involved in the shooting," according to a police statement released late last night.
The handgun found inside the car was registered to Mary Russo, police said.
Limani said he did not know if the victims had been inside the restaurant, but it appears that they were not.
An autopsy by Cyril H. Wecht and Pathology Associates is scheduled this morning, the coroner's office said.
Mike Bernstein, director of media relations and communications for Red Lobster who was contacted at the chain's Orlando office, said that while the company doesn't "know any details about this incident, it appears to be a tragic situation. Our sympathies certainly go out to the family of these two people."
Bernstein said that "no one in our (Hempfield Township) restaurant knows who the two people are or anything about the circumstances of what or when this happened. The matter is in the hands ?of the proper authorities, and we are fully cooperating with them."
Although a portion of the parking lot was cordoned off while police investigated, it did not appear that the restaurant's operations were affected as patrons could be seen coming to and leaving the restaurant throughout the evening.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers trim roster to 75
- Steelers WR Bryant’s suspension upheld
- Steelworkers union says ATI talks to resume
- Steelers trade 6th-round pick for Jaguars kicker Scobee
- Westinghouse assistant coach placed on leave
- Corizon to hand off county jail medical care to Allegheny Health Network
- Gameday: Pirates at Brewers, Sept. 1, 2015
- Fayette pastor who advocated against removal of Ten Commandments monument dies
- Aliquippa RB Bronaugh to miss season after cancer diagnosis
- State’s high court rules in favor of turnpike worker, will get another chance to prove his firing violated whistlebower laws
- Steelworkers: ATI talks to resume Sept. 11