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New Kensington police find spent shells

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New Kensington police are asking for tips about the Tuesday shooting at houses along Fifth Avenue in the Parnassus section. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 724-339-7534 or on Facebook at

Westmoreland County detectives can be reached at 724-830-3949.

Thursday, May 15, 2014, 12:56 a.m.

New Kensington police investigating gunfire Tuesday night collected about 10 empty shell casings and several spent bullets.

Four 9mm bullets struck a house in the 500 block of Fifth Avenue and one bullet apparently “skipped off the sidewalk into the kitchen window” of a lime green-sided house, Detective Sgt. Robert Derringer said Wednesday.

Police are looking for a motive and witnesses.

Neighbors said there were shots fired at the rear of the green apartment building, at 542 Fifth Ave., last fall and down the block in April. Bullet holes can be seen in the walls near the second- and third-floor doors of the building.

The same apartment building was the site of stabbings last month, police said, but they say they don't think that incident has anything to do with Tuesday night's incident.

Police are still investigating the April 16 stabbings of two men and a woman at the apartment building. The men required hospital stays.Tuesday night's gunfire erupted at about 11:30 p.m. The unidentified shooter apparently stood across the street while firing the semi-automatic pistol.

Police found 10 bullet casings and evidence in the soil where the shooter fired into the ground.

“We found five bullet strikes in the yard,” Derringer said.

One of the bullets whizzed over a woman who was in bed. A Westmoreland County forensics detective told Derringer that the round missed the woman by a foot or two.

And it missed her, Derringer said, only because the bullet struck a window air conditioner first.

“Did it save her?” he said. “No doubt. Absolutely.”

Another bullet tore through a screen door and main door, continued down the hall and hit a new crib mattress that was leaning against a stairway.

Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or



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