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Vandergrift man wounded in apparent drug-related shooting

| Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, 12:54 p.m.

A Vandergrift man was shot in an apartment late Sunday while trying to buy marijuana, police said.Police said the victim, Jamil Graham, 19, of the 200 block of Sherman Avenue, was in Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh on Monday morning in serious condition.

Police Chief Joe Caporali said Christopher J. Sgourakis, 27, of 128 Grant St., allegedly shot Graham once in the abdomen at about 10:45 p.m. after the victim and another man went to Sgourakis' apartment.

According to an affidavit, Sgourakis said he opened the door for Graham and a man he didn't know to sell them marijuana.

Sgourakis told police the men followed him into the kitchen and then started to hit him. He said he ran into his bedroom, grabbed his pistol, and fired a shot.

Police said an empty 9 mm casing was found on a kitchen sink counter.

Although bleeding heavily, Graham left the apartment with help from the other man, then collapsed on the sidewalk in front of his Sherman Avenue apartment, about five blocks away. Graham was flown to AGH.

Caporali said they found the pistol they believe was used in the shooting, as well as glass jars and a can with about 2 ounces of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, including a water bong and glass smoking pipes.

Police said the pistol was registered to Sgourakis.

Sgourakis faces two counts each of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment, plus several drug charges.

Following a video arraignment Monday morning, Allegheny Township District Judge Cheryl Peck Yakopec ordered Sgourakis held in the Westmoreland County jail in lieu of $50,000 pending a preliminary hearing.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday.

Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or cbiedka@tribweb.com.

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