Infant, two men injured in Carnegie Towers shooting

| Sunday, April 15, 2012

A gunman stood in the portico of a Carnegie housing complex on Saturday afternoon and fired into a car, hitting a 2-week-old girl in the torso and wounding two men.

The infant, born April 1, initially was taken to St. Clair Hospital, then was sent by medical helicopter to Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville, where she was in stable condition last night, Allegheny County Police Lt. Andrew Schurman said.

A 19-year-old man, shot twice in the torso, was in critical condition in Allegheny General Hospital in the North Side, where he was undergoing surgery. A 24-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to the leg and was in stable condition in AGH, Schurman said.

Carnegie police Chief Jeffrey Harbin described the shooting as "heart-wrenching."

"This is certainly something unexpected and tragic," he said.

The shooting occurred outside Carnegie Towers on Capitol Drive. Police did not identify the three victims, but said they have family members who live in the building.

Roberta Crewl, a Carnegie Towers resident, said the light rain yesterday afternoon was a "blessing in disguise."

"Usually there are a lot of kids playing out here," she said. "It could have been a lot worse."

Police did not identify the gunman but said they are getting a warrant for his arrest. Shurman said he did not want to speculate about the motive for the shooting.

"Something happened that got the (shooter) out here," he said.

Neighbors reported hearing about eight shots about 3:15 p.m., then seeing a green Buick Century carrying the victims back up and crash into two cars. The driver then drove through a fence and traveled to a BP gas station about three blocks away.

One man "came in and said they had all been shot. We called 911, and ambulances came to take them away," a gas station worker said, refusing to give her name.

Harbin said the shooter fled on foot. Police recovered a gun in a nearby alley.

Police are reviewing video surveillance footage from Carnegie Towers, Harbin said.

Several people in a green Cadillac that sat idling in front of the apartment building were taken into custody, Harbin said.

Police said the vehicle's occupants knew the shooter.

Harbin said the 10-story, 176-unit Carnegie Towers, which provides federally subsidized housing, has a history of public safety problems. District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. once called it a "food court for drugs."

In the past few years, new owners tried to improve safety by adding 150 security cameras.

Carnegie Towers is owned by Izzy Bleier and Mathias Deutsch, both of New Jersey. They could not be reached for comment late last night.

"My real concern is for all the kids who live in the building," Carnegie Mayor Jack Kobistek said. "If we find out this is in any way due to a security lapse, we will go after the (building) owners."

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