ShareThis Page

Community cooperation credited in Glassport shooting arrests

| Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 4:01 a.m.
Police recovered Ruger .45 caliber pistol, stamp bags of heroin, a bottle of Xanax tablets and about $2,000 in cash and arrested two teens following a shooting incident in the 800 block of Hemlock Alley in Glassport on Sunday. The gun was equipped with what police believe say was a makeshift laser sighting device.
A resident who live near a Glassport house that was the target of gunfire on Sunday said discarded syringes like this one are common sightings in the 800 block of Hemlock Alley.

Two Glassport juveniles were arrested on Sunday after shots were fired into a borough house.

No one was hurt in the incident in the 800 blocks of Hemlock Alley and Ohio Avenue at about 5:08 p.m.

Police arrested a 17-year-old male and a 16-year-old female on Ravensburg Boulevard in Clairton a short time later in a vehicle believed to have been involved in the incident.

A Ruger .45-caliber pistol, two magazines and ammunition, more than 200 stamp bags of heroin, a bottle of Xanax tablets and about $2,000 in cash were recovered from the vehicle. The gun was equipped with what police believe was a makeshift laser sighting device.

Glassport police said the arrests were the result of cooperation from the community and support from neighboring police agencies.

“They were taken into custody pretty quickly,” Glassport Lt. Ron Benoit said, noting neighbors who live near the scene of the shooting supplied them with surveillance video.

In one of the videos, Benoit said, “You could see an arm coming out (of the car window) and the guy shooting at the house.”

Police initially received a call for shots fired in the 800 block of Ohio Avenue and then another call for shots in the same area of Hemlock Alley.

Police said a male wearing a hooded sweatshirt was seen running toward Michigan Avenue after the shooting and getting into a Pontiac, which fled the area. Clairton police later stopped the vehicle and took the two suspects into custody.

A third person in the vehicle not believed to have been involved with the shooting was questioned and released by investigators.

The male suspect, who police say was a passenger in the vehicle, is charged with discharging a firearm into an occupied structure, carrying a firearm without a license, criminal attempt at aggravated assault, reckless endangerment of another person, possession of a firearm by a minor, possession of a controlled substance and possession with intent to deliver. He was taken to Allegheny County Jail.

The female suspect, who police say was driving the car, has charges pending in juvenile court.

Police say the shooting appears to have been the result of an ongoing dispute.

Neighbors say the alley has a reputation for drugs.

A woman at the targeted house on Monday said she couldn't discuss the matter but did say the two adults and two children who live there were not home at the time of the shooting. She said several bullets penetrated the home and entered the interior.

Bill Hallas, who lives down the alley from the shooting, was one of several neighbors who provided surveillance video to investigators.

“That's why I have the cameras,” Hallas said. “It worked out. I'm happy the surveillance videos we have made a difference.”

Hallas, who attends Glassport Crime Watch meetings, said he and others are fighting to reduce crime on Hemlock Ally.

“It's called Heroin Alley, which is a shame,” he said, pointing to a discarded syringe on the berm of the alley just across from his house. Hallas said such sightings are common in spite of his and his neighbors' efforts, adding, “I refuse to move.”

Another neighbor, who did not wish to be identified, said she was home when she heard six shots fired.

“I'm very scared,” she said, adding she'd like to move out of the area but can't. “It's really dangerous.”

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

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.