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Alleged gunman killed in shootout in Clairton

| Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 5:11 a.m.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Area police secure the scene where a Cadillac containing one shooting victim was located at the intersection of Ravensburg Boulevard and Route 885 in Clairton on Tuesday.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Clairton police Chief Rob Hoffman, left, talks with an Allegheny County police officer at the intersection of Ravensburg Boulevard and Route 885, where a shooting victim was located in a Cadillac on Tuesday.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Area police secure the scene of a shooting at 363 Halcomb Ave. in Clairton. Two individuals were injured in what police are describing as a drug deal turned violent.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Area police secure the scene of a shooting at 363 Halcomb Ave. in Clairton. Two individuals were injured in what police are describing as a drug deal turned violent.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Clairton officer Matt McDanel walks along Halcomb Avenue as police continue to process the scene of a shooting on Tuesday afternoon.

One of two men shot during a gunfight in Clairton on Tuesday afternoon has died.

Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that Terrance Moore, 34, of Clairton was pronounced dead at 7:44 p.m. at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

A second victim, Richard L. Ford V, 21, of Clairton was listed in fair condition at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.

Ford is the grandson of city Councilman Richard L. Ford III, who said his grandson was shot in the hip outside the Ford family home at 361 Halcomb Ave.

“We don't need anything like this happening in our city,” Ford III said as he prepared to go to the hospital to pray with his grandson.

Police said Ford V told them he was going to work when he observed three men in sweatshirts “with the hoods pulled down in a suspicious manner,” walking toward his brother Xavier and another man.

An Allegheny County Police criminal complaint identified them as Christian Deandre Riley, 19, of Clairton; Riley's brother Curtis Riley; and their cousin Moore.

Ford V told police that one of the three pulled out a handgun and began to shoot, and that Ford responded by pulling out a weapon and shooting the man brandishing the handgun.

Police said Ford has a concealed carry permit.

Ford told investigators that he was struck in the right knee, and that the man he shot fell to the ground but continued firing his handgun. Ford said the other two hooded men also began firing handguns.

One, Ford said, shot him in his buttocks while the other man fired “wildly while backing up.”

Ford said he saw one of them grab the wounded man and drive away.

Christian Riley was awaiting preliminary arraignment at presstime, but court records indicate that a hearing will be on Tuesday at 1 p.m. before Magisterial District Judge Armand Martin in Glassport.

As of presstime, Riley faced charges that include aggravated assault, criminal attempt-criminal homicide, recklessly endangering another person, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and carrying a firearm without a license.

City and county police responded to the call for multiple shots fired before 2 p.m.

Clairton police Chief Rob Hoffman said it was “a drug deal gone bad.”

Glassport police and other law enforcement agents stopped a dark-colored Cadillac near the intersection of Ravensburg Boulevard and N. State Street.

According to the criminal complaint, Riley told police some of the men were arguing about a prior shooting. After Tuesday's shooting began, Riley said he saw Moore slumped over in the driver's seat of a car.

Riley, who was seen participating in the shooting, was attempting to drive Moore to the hospital when he was pulled over on Ravensburg Boulevard when he tossed a handgun out of the car.

Police recovered the weapon and said it was reported stolen out of Pittsburgh.

“As far as we know, there were at least 15 shots fired, by the evidence at the crime scene here,” county police assistant superintendent James Morton said. “We believe there could possibly be three guns. We're going to be looking at surveillance cameras here on the corner to see if they picked up anything.”

Morton would not confirm if a drug deal took place.

“It's hard to tell at this time. It's too early and there are a lot of people who were involved that we're trying to question,” he said. “There's no indication that the shooting was inside. It was all outside and continued around to the back of the yard here. One individual was taken back inside the house until the medics came.

“We know one thing for sure: There was an exchange of gunfire. There's gunfire coming from both sides. There's a possibility we recovered two (handguns). One was in the car. We have a search warrant coming for the house.”

Daucent Radlien said he was painting inside the home at the time of the shooting.

“When I heard it, I went into the closet,” Radlien said. “I heard somebody say to call the ambulance. A couple minutes later I looked through the window. I saw the ambulance. Police told me there was a bullet hole in (the truck of his car).”

Ford III is a mayoral candidate in the May 21 Democratic primary, as are incumbent Rich Lattanzi, Councilman Terry Lee Julian and former council candidate Kenneth Barna.

Lattanzi said he wishes Ford's grandson well.

“My heart goes out to his family,” the mayor said. “I am very disappointed at the drug activity of so many youths. The young men need to stop feeling that our town or country is not doing enough for them. They need to man up, start working, learn a trade and grow up.

“These young adults work hard to make a difference. The sad part is, we as leaders of the city know exactly what's going on, but we tend to turn our heads rather than call someone out,” Lattanzi said. “I got a few complaints about a location and passed it on. I felt I did enough. But if I was to approach the leaders close to this location, just maybe today would not have happened.”

Police from Brentwood, Baldwin, West Mifflin, Lincoln, Baldwin and Jefferson Hills responded to the shooting.

Anyone with information regarding the incident should contact Clairton police at 412-233-6213 or county police at 412-473-3000.

Staff writers Patrick Cloonan and Michael Hasch contributed to this story. Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or

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