Woman shot dead, mother wounded in Hill District shooting

| Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, 3:51 p.m.

Three gunmen who police said fired at least 20 shots killed a Hill District woman and wounded her mother on Friday just inside a basement garage in their home.

Tina Crawford, 34, died in the barrage of gunfire about 3:15 p.m. at the home in the 900 block of Cherokee Street, a spokeswoman for the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said. Crawford's mother, whom neighbors identified as Patsy Crawford, 63, was taken to UPMC Presbyterian.

Pittsburgh Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said the violence rattled residents of what she described as a normally “quiet” section of the neighborhood.

“Tina was a good girl. I am really shocked,” said neighbor Tracy Scott, 46. “I don't understand why anybody would do anything to good people like this.”

“They are the best neighbors and friends possible,” said Kim Johnson, 28, another neighbor. “They are a close-knit family. They didn't deserve this. It's hard to believe.”

Responding to reports of multiple gunshots, police said they found Tina Crawford's body lying just inside the garage entrance behind a car. Patsy Crawford was on the other side of the vehicle. Bullet holes could be seen in the body of the car and in the side of the house.

The older woman repeatedly asked paramedics and police about her daughter's condition as she was being treated and lifted into the ambulance, Toler said.

The door to the house was locked, Toler said, indicating that the women were either just returning home or leaving when they were shot. A second daughter, identified by neighbors as Tamara Crawford, 25, apparently was not home at the time of the shooting.

One of the gunmen fled on foot and the others sped off in a vehicle, Toler said. She did not immediately provide a description of the assailants.

Although it appears the gunmen were targeting at least one of the women, city homicide detectives did not disclose a motive or whether they have suspects in the case. Toler said neighbors are cooperating with investigators.

Former Pittsburgh City Councilman Sala Udin, who lives across the street from the Crawfords, was too distraught to talk, said a woman who answered his door.

“The family didn't bother no one. They stayed at home,” said neighbor Bill Moore, 59.

“They are good people who would give you the shirts off their backs or their last dollar,” Johnson said. “We are angry. I have two kids who play around here, ride their bikes around here.”

Marlene Jackson, 30, said Patsy Crawford — whom Johnson described as “like a mom to all of us” — has served as a mentor for a youth group at nearby Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church.

“I never heard anything bad about the family. It's always the ones that don't deserve it,” Jackson said.

Moore said he is confident that police will find the culprits.

“They'll find them soon,” Moore said. “You can't hide from the law.”

Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or mhasch@tribweb.com.

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