Man kills girlfriend, then self after Point Breeze standoff, police say
Ka'Sandra Wade tried to escape the man who police say fatally shot her before taking his own life early Wednesday, a co-worker said.
“She was doing everything right,” said Maryellen Deckard, statewide campaign and development director for East Liberty-based Action United, a nonprofit that focuses on issues affecting low-income communities. “And it just went so wrong.”
Pittsburgh police said it appears Anthony L. Brown, 51, was still a part of Wade's life and she never reported any abuse to authorities. Investigators found his belongings in her apartment on Lowell Street in Larimer, and the two spent New Year's Eve together, Lt. Daniel Herrmann said.
It was then that investigators believe Brown fatally shot Wade, 33.
Wade's mother and other relatives and friends went to the police station in Highland Park about 8 p.m. Tuesday, concerned because Wade hadn't answered her phone or door and hadn't picked up her 10-year-old son.
Officers forced their way into her home and found her dead of a gunshot wound in her head and neck, Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki said. Investigators went to Brown's apartment on North Homewood Avenue in Point Breeze about 12:20 a.m. Wednesday, police said.
“He said he knew we were coming,” Herrmann said.
Brown wouldn't open the door and told officers he had a gun and was thinking of killing himself, Stangrecki said.
The SWAT team responded and negotiators began talking with Brown. He admitted to killing Wade and “rambled” about how it was an accident and complained about the “mind games” she played, Herrmann said.
Brown stopped communicating with negotiators, and police found him dead about 5 a.m. upon sending in a surveillance robot.
“We're all pretty much devastated,” Deckard said. “We want to do something to make it so Ka'Sandra's life was not in vain.”
Relatives of Wade and Brown could not be reached.
Wade began working for Action United in March as an intern while she was a student at the Kaplan Career Institute, Deckard said. The organization hired her before she finished the internship, and she was set to start full-time on Wednesday, Deckard said.
“She was dependable, loyal and trustworthy,” Action United President Lucille Prater-Holliday said. “She took very good care of her son. She tended to all of his needs.”
After about four months of work, Wade told co-workers that Brown, the father of her son, had threatened her. Other people in the office helped her find a new place to live, and she moved in the fall, Deckard said.
Police said they never arrested Brown for the alleged abuse. Online court records did not indicate Wade sought a protection-from-abuse order against Brown.
In abusive relationships, men often control and isolate women, making it difficult for them to leave, said Mary Jo Hardwood, director of the dialogue resolutions center at the Center for Victims in East Liberty.
“The damage is so far reaching,” Hardwood said. “It takes the average woman eight tries before she can break away.”
Deckard said Wade did not seem fearful or worried about Brown.
“I think she thought she had done what she needed to do to keep her safe,” Deckard said.
Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or email@example.com.