Monessen man fatally shot outside Donner Avenue home
By Jeremy Sellew
Published: Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, 3:21 a.m.
A Monessen man was fatally shot three times outside his Donner Avenue home late Wednesday night during an alleged argument over drugs.
James Ritter, 54, of 126 Donner Ave., was pronounced dead at 12:28 a.m. Thursday at Monongahela Valley Hospital in Carroll Township, of gunshot wounds allegedly inflicted by Christopher Allshouse, 40.
Allshouse also lives at 126 Donner, as does his mother, Linda Craig – the victim's girlfriend.
Monessen police Chief John Mandarino said a .22-caliber, semiautomatic handgun was used to shoot Ritter in the upper left chest, back of the head near the brain stem and upper left portion of his head.
Mandarino said officers were dispatched to the scene just after 11:30 p.m. for a reported shooting, adding Allshouse was at the scene but no longer armed.
The chief said that when officers arrived, Craig said, “‘Chris shot Jim.”'
“Officers went inside and (Allshouse) showed them where he put the gun,” Mandarino said.
Allshouse was taken into custody and read his Miranda rights to silence and to legal representation, Mandarino said.
Allshouse is charged with criminal homicide.
Police said they found Ritter unconscious on the sidewalk next to stairs leading to the front porch.
Craig told police that she was in the house and heard several popping noises.
When she came downstairs and asked what was going on, Allshouse told her that he had shot Ritter, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Allshouse directed Officer James Franks to the kitchen, where the gun was located on a table. The weapon is registered to Allshouse, Mandarino said.
According to the affidavit, Allshouse said an argument with Ritter about drugs and entering rehabilitation escalated.
Allshouse shot Ritter outside on the stairs, police said.
Franks noted that he detected the odor of alcohol on Allshouse, who allegedly told police he had consumed several beers.
Police obtained a search warrant and returned to the residence at 2:45 a.m.
Mandarino said no other significant evidence was found relevant to the case.
Allshouse was transported to Monongahela Valley Hospital after police secured a warrant for blood tests and other tests. Mandarino said it could be weeks before test results are available.
Monessen police were assisted by Rostraver Township police and Westmoreland County detectives, who took the gun and empty shell casings to the crime lab for processing.
Allshouse was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Joseph Dalfonso in Monessen shortly after 9 a.m. Thursday.
He is being held in Westmoreland County Prison in Hempfield Township without bond.
He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing 10:30 a.m. Feb. 21 before Dalfonso.
Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
- St. Molokai parish ruling imminent
- Charges mounting in Monessen drug case
- 4 Donora men to stand trial for Rostraver hotel incident
- Monessen teen in court for drug charges
- Cal U offers military personnel, families discounted online rates
- Finleyville Food Pantry always in need of donations, volunteers
- Pa. health secretary to tour SPHS facility
- Belle Vernon theft suspect, wife taken into police custody
- Monessen traffic stop leads to car, foot chases
- Charleroi Save A Lot closing
- Trial ordered in Ellsworth standoff case