Two wounded in Donora bar shooting
A holiday night out turned violent at Ray's Place in Donora early Friday morning as shots rang out.
Two men, Chris Tartt, no address given, and Jerome Pryor, of Monessen were wounded by a man who allegedly fired bullets through the door of the 864 Meldon Ave. bar.
Police are seeking the alleged shooter – Frank “Kimo” Tartt, 32, of 1273 Marelda Ave., Donora.
In a complaint filed with Magisterial District Judge Mark Wilson in Monongahela, Frank Tartt faces four counts of aggravated assault, two counts each of attempted homicide and recklessly endangering another person, and single counts of firearms not to be carried without a license, and discharging a firearm into an occupied structure.
In the wake of the shooting, state Liquor Control Board officials escorted by Donora police asked the owner Charles Ray Shutterly to voluntarily close the establishment.
Shutterly agreed, and the bar was closed Friday evening.
Mayor John Lignelli said a hearing will take place in Washington, Pa., next week to determine the length of the shutdown.
He said the borough will try to have Ray's Place permanently closed.
Standing outside their station this morning, police heard gunshots, called for backup and rushed to Ray's.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, police arrived to find panicked people leaving the scene.
The outer glass door at Ray's was shattered and there were three bullet holes in the inner door.
Officers saw blood on the bar floor and found six shell casings outside on the sidewalk and street.
Police said a witness said he saw two men fighting outside of the bar. He said one of the men pulled out a black pistol and fired into the bar door.
Police allege Frank Tartt approached his cousin, Chris Tartt, swore at him and challenged him to a fight over a female.
Chris Tartt told police he knew Frank Tartt carries a gun.
Claiming Frank Tartt “chest-bumped” him, Chris Tartt said he “felt what was believed to be a pistol tucked in the front of Frank's pants,” the affidavit states.
Chris Tartt told police he began to hit Frank Tartt in the face in an effort to keep Frank Tartt from using the suspected weapon.
He allegedly told police that after the fight, Frank Tartt went outside, pulled out a black pistol and fired the weapon into the door.
Chris Tartt was struck in his left thigh.
According to Monongahela Valley Hospital spokeswoman Corinne Laboon, Tartt was treated at the Carroll Township hospital and was later transferred to a Pittsburgh hospital.
His condition was unknown prior to presstime.
Pryor, a customer in the bar, told police he was pulling two women to the ground during the incident when he was shot in the upper left arm.
Donora police Superintendent James Brice said Pryor was treated at Monongahela Valley Hospital and later released. Brice suggested that Pryor was hit by shrapnel or a piece of a bullet that struck the bar floor.
A warrant has been issued for Frank Tartt's arrest. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Donora police through Washington County 911 or by calling the station at 724-379-9292.
Before the Friday incident, Frank Tartt was already awaiting trial in Washington County Court on charges of receiving stolen property, firearms not to be carried without a license, possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana.
They were filed by California borough police in July 2012. Frank Tartt was free $20,000 bond.
Lignelli said he heard about the incident on a police scanner at his home.
“I was listening to the play-by-play of what was going on,” Lignelli said. “I'm sick of it. We've had so many complaints from neighbors about that place.
“Now the neighbors are even afraid to call the police. It shouldn't be like that. That's no way to live your life.”
The borough previously worked to have Ray's declared a nuisance bar by the Washington County District Attorney's Office and the state Liquor Control Board.
While the LCB had suspended the Ray's Place licence, Brice said it had been reinstated in the past two weeks.
“They've been warned and warned and warned,” Lignelli said of the bar owner. “It's a bad place, and something has to be done. The people in the neighborhood are beside themselves and scared.
“I don't mind the people going into the bar ... but, Christ almighty, you don't need to be killing people to enjoy yourself.”
Lignelli said he contacted Washington County District Attorney Gene Vittone, who told the mayor he called officials involved in the prior LCB case against Ray's.
“We're not going to drag our feet on this,” Lignelli said. “I was a major player in closing two beer gardens here in Donora. We're going to get this place shut down, too.
“We need to do something, because those people that live down there are scared to death. No one should have to live in fear like that. Those people running that bar and going to that bar should realize that.”
Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-684-2667.
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.
- Teachers want new contract in Monessen
- Union escapee’s freedom cut short
- Washington County judge says heroin addicts fare better in treatment than prison
- Perfect storm rains heroin, pain pills onto Mon Valley
- ArcelorMittal notified of potential lawsuit
- Advance planning for Social Security
- Cops: North Charleroi home invasion suspect IDs himself
- Selective storm hits parts of Mon Valley
- North Belle Vernon man to stand trial for allegedly harassing police
- 2 Monessen men arrested on drug charges in Donora
- Steelers training camp has California University link