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Bethel Park music store attack 'a blur,' victim says

Sunday, April 28, 2013, 11:03 a.m.
 

Sylvia Armen didn't faint and didn't collapse after she was hit on the head with a billy club.

She just walked into an adjoining room of Armen's House of Music, the Bethel Park store she runs with her husband, and sat down.

“I'm a tough cookie,” Armen, 71, of Bethel Park said on Sunday.

In a matter-of-fact manner, she discussed Saturday's still-unexplained incident that left her assailant, identified by authorities as Andrew M. Moore, 31, of Venetia, fatally shot. She and her husband, Alfred Armen, 73, were taken to UPMC Mercy for their injuries.

“Everything happened so quickly, it's kind of a blur,” she said.

The couple have owned the Library Road store with a white-shingled front for 18 years. The store, which sells and repairs musical instruments and offers music lessons, has been for sale for a month.

Sylvia Armen, reached at home, was more concerned about how her husband was doing at UPMC Mercy than her own ordeal. She expected that he would be released on Sunday.

She didn't know Moore, she said, and she doubts her husband did either. Nothing seemed out of order when the man entered the store shortly before noon.

He was in the store less than three or four minutes, she recalled, when he said he had to go back to the car.

When he returned, he struck her behind the ear with the club. Stunned, she went to the next room and sat.

Armen said it was the first time for any trouble like that at the store.

“I didn't see my husband again until he picked up the phone and called the police,” she said. “I didn't hear or see anything for five minutes.”

Sylvia Armen recalled, however, hearing two or three gunshots.

“It sounded like a pop, but I didn't know it was a gunshot for sure,” she said.

Bethel Park police say Alfred Armen tussled with Moore after the man hit his wife, then shot him with a .38 caliber revolver.. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office has scheduled an autopsy for Monday.

Sylvia Armen said she expects to reopen the store, but she doesn't know when.

Her neighbor, Jim Tucker, 36, of Bethel Park, praised Alfred Armen as a good neighbor who allowed him to use the store's parking lot when he needed some extra spaces.

He said he was in his home at the time of the attack and didn't hear the gunshots. He wasn't aware of any problem until his son called to tell him about it.

“It's a tragic situation,” he said. “We don't expect anything like that here.”

Michael Manko, spokesman for the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office, declined to comment on whether any charges might be filed related to the incident.

Moore had moved in with his parents, John and Joann Moore, within the past few years, neighbors said.

The family lives in a tan , brick, split-level house. Joann Moore declined comment.

Dan and Janet Degnan of Venetia recalled Moore and his brother playing baseball with their children on the Degnans' front lawn years ago.

Dan Degnan said he recalled Moore waving at him as he was driving by four or five days ago.

“He seemed like a nice kid,” he said.

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