Homestead police unraveling reports of kidnapping, assault, gun fight
Homestead and Allegheny County police are investigating a reported kidnapping, a gun battle and an assault that unfolded in a strange series of events on Thursday.
“It's a pretty helter-skelter story and we have not sorted it out yet,” Homestead police Chief Jeff DeSimone said.
Homestead police received a call at approximately 1:40 p.m. about a possible kidnapping in the 1400 block of Sarah Street, DeSimone said.
The mother of a 16-year-old Homestead boy told police that an acquaintance had phoned to tell her that her son was missing.
DeSimone said the boy turned up at a home along W. Fifteenth Avenue appearing beaten and without shoes later Thursday afternoon, and was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital for surgery.
The chief said the teen's mother usually sends him to school at 8 a.m.
“She called the school and he had not gone to school,” he said.
At the time, police still were investigating the report of a kidnapping on Sarah Street, and found at least 10 casings from an apparent gun battle with two shooters, DeSimone said.
He said police started looking for casings when someone reported their vehicle had been hit by gunfire while police were on the scene speaking with the mother of the missing boy.
“We recovered multiple casings at two ends of the street, which indicated that there were at least two shooters shooting in opposite directions,” DeSimone said.
He said the vehicle struck by gunfire had two occupants.
“One was a family friend,” he said. “The other allegedly was the boy's father, who was no longer on scene.”
The chief said there are unconfirmed reports of a dispute over a weapon being returned to the people who abducted the teen, or of them being reimbursed for the firearm.
DeSimone said the FBI's Pittsburgh office called Homestead police in regard to the location of possible suspects and the missing boy at an apartment complex at 331 Ninth Ave.
That complex quickly was surrounded by a SWAT team, hostage negotiators and law enforcement personnel from Allegheny County and nearby communities.
Tyler Karhut, a resident of the adjoining apartment building, said he heard sirens and saw police surround the street at approximately 2:15 p.m.
“We opened up the door to see what was going on and the cop told us to go back in the house where there are no windows and lock the door,” he said. “We locked the door and went into the back room and then the cop knocked on our door to ask us if we had a key to open up the basement. My mom went down and let them in the basement. They searched our apartment and the basement. Then they said we all had to get out.”
The majority of law enforcement units left the scene around 5:50 p.m.
DeSimone said the building was canvassed and some people were detained, but it is unclear if any charges will be filed. He said investigators found blood and signs of an assault in the building's basement.
DeSimone said police still don't have many details about the juvenile.
He said Allegheny County police are taking over the investigation.
DeSimone said Allegheny County Sheriff's deputies arrested one person at the scene on a warrant unrelated to the case.
Stacy Lee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1970, or email@example.com.
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.
- McKeesport teacher among winners at Champions of Learning awards dinner
- Closed Bottom Dollars in Homestead, McKeesport to become Aldi stores
- Program details women’s work in Mon-Yough area mills during World War II
- Steel Valley union drops restroom grievance
- Elizabeth Forward senior builds his own canoe in school’s lab
- Mon-Yough area first responders say drivers need to stop, pull over
- McKeesport student’s prize-winning song about brother helps ease family’s grief
- Petition challenges end 1 North Versailles candidate’s run for judge
- Historian to share women’s tales of World War II steel mill work in McKeesport
- Vigil marks 6-year anniversary of Clairton coach’s death
- Mon-Yough area candidates bumped off ballots vow to fight on