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SWAT standoff in Munhall nabs suspected killer

| Friday, March 29, 2013, 4:31 a.m.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Police and SWAT members arrive at Munhall- Homestead Housing Association at Longfellow Drive in Munhall Thursday morning to apprehend a man who alledly shot and killed his mother.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
An emotional Judy Joyner, a best friend of fatal shooting victim Bernadette Scholl, is consoled at the scene.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
A caravan of police and SWAT vehiciles turn off of West Run Road into the Munhall-Homestead Housing Association Thursday morning in response to a fatal shooting.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Virginia Cannon talks via cell phone with her children, who were in a building near the fatal shooting scene in the Munhall-Homestead Housing Association.

A man accused of fatally shooting his mother Wednesday night in Munhall was taken into custody Thursday after a standoff with Allegheny County SWAT officers.

Anthony Scholl, 41, allegedly killed his mother Bernadette Scholl, 74, of Munhall in her home in the Munhall-Homestead Housing Association at Longfellow Drive.

“Munhall (police) did an excellent job as far as securing the scene and taking him into custody,” Allegheny County Police assistant superintendent James Morton said. “We're getting a search warrant now for the house because he lives there also (with the victim). There was no dispute. He just shot his mother some time during the night we believe.

“I believe one of the other daughters called 911. I think he was calling his sisters telling them what he actually did. I don't have any information on the phone calls. I just know they took place. There was another sister in the home at that time. She was not harmed. When the police came, they got her out. The mother was pronounced (dead) immediately.”

Scholl ran upstairs when police arrived. Munhall and SWAT officers made entry into the residence.

“I think he was tazered,” Morton said.

One of Bernadette Scholl's best friends, Judy Joyner, was extremely emotional as she waited with other friends and residents of the housing complex near the intersection of Longfellow Drive and West Run Road.

West Homestead and West Mifflin police were restricting access of pedestrians and vehicles at that intersection.

Others responding to the scene were Homestead police, Munhall Area Prehospital Services, Allegheny County Fire Marshall Arson Response Team

“I talked with her last night,” Joyner said. “It was a normal good night, love you, God bless you. That was her famous saying. I can't believe he did it. We knew he was going to do something. We knew it. Everybody started calling me. We were out Easter shopping.”

Joyner said she and other people tried to convince Bernadette not to let her son live with her.

“We all did,” Joyner said. “She said, ‘Where am I going to put him? ... Tony, he's sick.”

Resident Virginia Cannon said she learned of the standoff via Facebook and telephone calls. She rushed from her Homestead job to check on her two teenage children and a friend's teenager, who were in a nearby building a few doors away from the scene.

“I've been in contact with them constantly,” Cannon said. “They are to stay away from doors and windows. The three of them are in my living room right now. This stuff doesn't go on up here. There's some mild drug activity, but this is the first time something like this has happened there. I've lived in this area all my life, and this was always a safer place.”

Cannon said she knew the family, but stayed away from Anthony Scholl.

Cannon and Joyner tearfully embraced and both said Bernadette Scholl was a wonderful woman.

West Mifflin resident Jennifer Bennett came to check on her mother Sheryl Bennett, who lives across from the scene. Sheryl Bennett was not home at the time of the standoff.

“It's nothing like what I grew up in,” Jennifer Bennett said. “She was pretty upset in the car. I keep trying to convince her to move.”

“It's just a shame this had to happen to her,” Sheryl Bennett said.

Resident Eric Smith said he's spoken to Anthony Scholl at times, and he has guns and mental issues.

“The scenario up here doesn't look to good,” Smith said. “He's absolutely crazy.”

Residents said Anthony Scholl's son, Anthony Scholl Jr., 22, of West Homestead, is in jail for allegedly chasing down and slicing the neck of a cyclist who cursed at him and cut him off in traffic on Sept. 5.

He's charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment in connection with the attack on the city steps leading up the South Side Slopes. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 8 at Pittsburgh Municipal Court.

The same day as the stabbing, court records show, District Judge Thomas Torkowsky arraigned Scholl on charges that he lied when purchasing an AK-47 in July. Torkowsky released him on $10,000 unsecured bond, according to court records.

Tribune-Review News Service 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 mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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