Share This Page

High school student fatally shot on McKeesport street

| Friday, March 29, 2013, 8:51 p.m.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
McKeesport police (from left) Detective Joe Osinski, Officer Jon Harrison, Chief Bryan J. Washowich, Lt. Art Pero and Sgt. Mark Steele evaluate the scene of a fatal shooting on Friday, March 29, 2013, on Evans Street.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
McKeesport police Sgt. Connor Craig, Detective Joe Osinski and Sgt. Mark Steele tag evidence on March 29, 2013, on Bridge Street as part of an investigation into a fatal shooting of Kellcy Thomas on Evans Street. Deamonte Shakoor, 21, was to stand trial for the murder but a lack of evidence and witnesses prompted prosecutors to drop the charges Monday.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
McKeesport police Assistant Chief Tom Greene (left) talks with Allegheny County homicide detectives as they arrive on the scene of a fatal shooting on Evans Street on Friday, March 29, 2013.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
McKeesport police Officer Fran Angert and his K-9 partner Nero search a lot across the street from the scene of a fatal shooting on Friday, March 29, 2013, on Evans Street.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
McKeesport Captain of Detectives Tim Hanna (left) talks with Officer Justin Toth about witness accounts of details surrounding a fatal shooting on Friday, March 29, 2013, on Evans Street.

Homicide detectives are searching for the person who gunned down a McKeesport Area High School sophomore on Friday afternoon.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office identified the victim as Kellcy Thomas, 18. An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday.

Police said Thomas was in the 1400 block of Evans Street in McKeesport when he was shot in the upper chest about 3:35 p.m. He was taken to UPMC McKeesport where he died, according to the medical examiner's office.

“He was just a little boy lying there (in the street),” said Naida McDaniel of Evans Street. “He was a teenager, but he was a baby. That's just outrageous. That was so sad. I just started crying.”

McKeesport police and detectives from the Allegheny County homicide squad scoured the area in search of evidence and potential witnesses.

They are seeking the public's help to identify a suspect. Those with information can call the county homicide unit at 412-473-1300.

McKeesport school officials said grief counselors will be provided to help students cope with the incident.

“The safety of our students is a top priority at the McKeesport Area School District and it is saddening to hear of the tragedy this afternoon,” school officials said in a statement. “The district's thoughts are with the family of the victim during this difficult time.”

Residents who gathered near the scene said such incidents of violence are becoming all too frequent.

“This used to be such a quiet neighborhood,” said Erica Griffin, who has lived on Evans Street for 22 years. “Last summer it was scary. You couldn't even sit outside for fear you'll get shot.”

Stacy Lee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Staff writers Jennifer R. Vertullo and Tony LaRussa contributed to this report.

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.