Officials identify Homewood toddler killed in East Hills shooting
Two of Lenora “Connie” Smith's granddaughters remained hospitalized a day after a shooting at a picnic in the East Hills that killed her great-grandson, but police offered no information on Wednesday on what might have precipitated the violence.
“People with these guns need to just put the guns down,” said Smith, 59, of Wilkinsburg. “You're hurting innocent people and breaking up families.”
Marcus White Jr., 15 months old, of Homewood died at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh from a bullet in the chest on Tuesday evening, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office.
“His smile would light up a room,” Smith said. “He was just a happy baby.”
Pittsburgh police said at least three gunmen got out of a vehicle and started shooting into a crowd in a common area on East Hills Drive about 7:30 p.m. Marcus' aunts, whom Smith identified as Shedayah and Kadejiah Tyler, were shot.
Police found Shedayah Tyler, 20, lying on top of Marcus. She was taken to UPMC Presbyterian in critical condition with a chest wound. Kadejiah Tyler was shot in the thigh, police said.
The girls attend Cheyney University and stopped in Pittsburgh before a planned trip to Atlanta to watch an aunt graduate, Smith said.
“They went to a picnic and they got shot,” Smith said. “They're very bright, very outgoing girls. We're so proud of them — and this happened.”
Cheyney University spokeswoman Pamela Carter said, “We regret that they have been injured and express condolences to their family.”
Councilman Ricky Burgess, whose district includes the East Hills, met with the victims and family members at the hospital. He asked neighborhood stakeholders to discuss the incident and strategies for ending neighborhood violence.
“We're all horrified,” Burgess said. “It's just a sad, sad event.”
He urged people to share what they know with police.
Police said investigators do not believe the victims were the intended targets. Homicide detectives released no details.
Smith said she was grocery shopping and ran into Marcus' mother at the store. Then they got a call about the shooting.
“We couldn't understand what was going on,” Smith said. “It was chaos.”
She hopes the shooters are brought to justice.
“We can't get Marcus back,” she said. “I just wish they would give themselves in and ask for forgiveness.”
Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Rossi: Steelers should corner the market at NFL Draft
- Most talent in NFL Draft play at Steelers’ positions of need
- Man found dead in Lower Burrell
- Former Tennessee DE Hendrix announces transfer to Pitt
- Hammel, Cubs shut down Pirates, snapping 5-game winning streak
- Steelers receiver Brown attends workouts despite previous comments
- Penguins’ Pouliot learns from rookie season
- Plum officials: District won’t inhibit ‘constitutionally protected speech’
- Grand jury presentment: AG Kane lied, attempted to cover up leak
- Arnold, New Kensington drug busts net 2 arrests, heroin, cocaine, cash
- Restoration of ice-damaged McKeesport marina on schedule