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Monessen man murdered

| Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, 1:17 a.m.
Freinds and family board up Chris Fincik's house on Maple Ave. in Moessen, where he was shoot and killed in a home invasion on Monday night, 12-03-12. Jim Ference | The valley Independent

Westmoreland County detectives said an investigation into the early Monday morning murder of a Monessen man will continue at least one more day.

Detective Tom Horan said officials were still seeking suspects in the death of Chris Fincik, 36, who was shot and killed at 12:25 a.m. Monday at his 902 Maple Ave. residence.

Horan said there were between one and three suspects, and investigators disagreed on possible motives.

Fincik owned and operated Treecision in Charleroi — a tree cutting service.

Neighbor Evette Evangelist said she heard multiple gun shots after midnight. Like others who lived nearby, she said Fincik was very polite but she was often concerned about the large amount of people visiting his residence.

“There were always people coming and going,” Evangelist said. “It's a shame. This has always been one of the more quiet streets.”

Early Monday afternoon, friends of Fincik had boarded up the rear door of the Maple Avenue house. Pieces of broken glass remained strewn across the concrete porch. A white, wooden cross was posted in the front yard.

Friends had planned to hold a candlelight vigil at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday — approximately 24 hours after the shooting.

Fincik, known by his nickname “Snax,” had been cited in the past for drug charges, including two felony counts of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver in 2010.

Fincik was awaiting trial in Washington and Westmoreland counties, according to The Tribune Review, sister publication of The Valley Independent.

In Westmoreland, he was facing a charge of drug possession with intent to deliver. In Washington County, he was charged in September with tampering with evidence, possession of a controlled substance, disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Court records show Fincik was convicted on drug charges in 1995, 1996, 1999, 2004 and 2011, and for failing to surrender for a jail sentence in 2005.

Monessen Police Chief Mark Gibson said the incident happened around 12:25 a.m. and Fincik was apparently shot when he was answering the back door. He referred additional questions to Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck's office.

Fincik apparently died before medical help could arrive. According to Westmoreland County Chief Deputy Coroner Paul Cycak, the official time of death was 12:40 a.m. — just 15 minutes after Gibson said police received the call.

An autopsy on Fincik was conducted around 3 p.m. Monday. The cause and manner of death was still pending. Toxicology test results will not be available for several weeks.

Police from Monessen, Rostraver, Donora and North Belle Vernon were gathered at the housing project around 6:30 p.m. Monday, but declined comment, referring all inquiries to Gibson and Lt. Lloyd Aldrich.

The officers were placing what appeared to be a firearm into a sealed envelope. One of the officers had blackened hands.

Monessen police did not answer phone calls relating to the activity late Monday night.

The last homicide in Monessen occurred on Aug. 8, 2010, when Vladimir Von Fischer shot and killed his estranged wife, Maedee Von Fischer and Nicholas Mascetta Jr. at a pavilion outside Westgate Manor. Von Fischer then turned the gun on himself.

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 724-684-2635. Staff writer Jennifer Reeger contributed to this story.