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Council recognizes officer for assisting shooting victims

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By Jeffrey Widmer
Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 4:18 p.m.
 

Carnegie Borough Council this month gave a letter of commendation to Sgt. Caulene Lee for her actions during the April 14 shooting at the Carnegie Towers apartment complex.Mayor Jack Kobistek presented the commendation to Lee, who gave aid to multiple shooting victims, which included a 2-week-old infant. Kobistek also congratulated Lee for securing the crime scene at the same time.As a result of her efforts and those of other officers, several people have been apprehended so far. Byron Hall, 21, and James Edmonds, 20, both of Hazelwood, have been charged in the crime; police still are searching for the alleged shooter, Rashad Watson, 19.Tashae Griffin, 18, of Carnegie, also was charged with retaliation against a witness or victim. Police said she harassed or threatened a Carnegie Towers security guard about information he gave to investigators.At the time of the shooting, Carnegie police Chief Jeff Harbin called the incident "heartwrenching." The shooting happened in the middle of the afternoon during rainy, cool weather.The shooting probably could have been worse if not for the weather, Harbin and Kobistek agreed."We are lucky in that sense," Kobistek said.The victims were inside a green Buick Century in the Carnegie Towers parking lot.Following the shooting, Kobistek, Harbin and councilman Mike Sarsfield met with Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala. In 2009, following a drug raid that produced several arrests at the Towers, the district attorney called the building a "food court for drugs."Since that time, under new management, the Towers has increased security and serious crime has dropped. "However, we remain concerned about (the Carnegie Towers). This is something we are working on as far as ideas about what to do there," Kobistek said.In the meantime, the 13-member Carnegie Police Department has increased its patrols in and around the building, Kobistek said. And this summer, nearby residents will notice bike patrols being conducted by police, Kobistek said.There still is an active arrest warrant in effect for Watson, and police are still searching for him.Sarsfield, a former Allegheny County constable, said council members want to see the shooting wrapped up in Watson's arrest."He will continue to be sought out. He will be brought to justice," Sarsfield said.

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