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One suspect arrrested in drive-by shooting in Jeannette

| Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013, 1:30 a.m.
Eugene Smorey points to a bullet hole in the front of his home on North Third Street in Jeannette the morning after a drive-by shooting that sprayed several homes on his block.
Richard Gazarik | Tribune-Review
Eugene Smorey points to a bullet hole in the front of his home on North Third Street in Jeannette the morning after a drive-by shooting that sprayed several homes on his block.
Dionne Lee McKelvin, suspect in Jeannette drive-by shooting on Nov,. 27, 2013
Dionne Lee McKelvin, suspect in Jeannette drive-by shooting on Nov,. 27, 2013

A Jeannette man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly firing shots that hit a woman in a drive-by shooting that hit four houses in Jeannette Tuesday night.

Dionne Lee McKelvin, 35, was charged Wednesday morning with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, discharging a firearm and illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

McKelvin was arraigned before Jeannette District Judge Joseph DeMarchis and sent to Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of $500,000 bond.

McKelvin was accused of shooting the victim in the arm and chest at 239 N. First St., according to the criminal complaint. The woman was transported by Jeannette Emergency Medical Services to Excela Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg. Her condition was not immediately available.

McKelvin was in police custody about nine minutes after the shooting, which was reported at 10:29 p.m., according to a police affidavit.

McKelvin was identified by two men standing outside the residence when the shooting occurred. Both men identified “Menace” as the man who normally drove the gray Pontiac seen in the drive-by shooting.

Neighbors reported the shooting occurred about 10:30 p.m. as a car drove along the 300 block, toward Route 130, firing what they believe were between six and eight gunshots.

A bullet that hit the home of Tina Smorey went through the front siding and hit a teddy bear ornament on her Christmas tree behind the front window, a keepsake her late mother had bought in honor of the birth of Smorey's 8-year-old daughter. Smorey said she was in her living room about 5 feet from the tree when the bullet went through the wall, knocking the knitted ornament off the tree. The bullet landed underneath the tree, next to a model railroad train set.

She immediately took her two young daughters to the basement.

Once Marci Delissio heard the first two gunshots while inside her home on the block, she said she knew immediately it was the sound of gunfire.

“I heard the third shot and I hit the ground. I heard them kick it into overdrive after the first two shots,” Delissio said, of the vehicle that sped along the block.

Another resident, who wished to remain anonymous, found one bullet had gone through the front wall, across her kitchen and through a wooden cabinet, where it landed next to a box of cereal above the kitchen sink. Another bullet, she said, went through an exterior wall and may be embedded in a wall of the living room about 8 feet off the floor.

“If I had been standing by my sink, I would have been hit,” said the woman, who plans to visit family in Maryland for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“In 11 years living here, I never saw something like this before,” the woman said.

One man told police that if it had not been for his pool table, he likely would have been hit by the gunfire.

Karrick Scott showed police where a bullet grazed the siding of the multi-unit house, possibly burying itself behind the vinyl siding.

The owner of a brick house near the shooting victim said he was watching television when he thought “someone was banging on the window” of his house during the shooting. The man, who declined to be identified, said he believes the bullet hit below a front window, causing a chip in the brick.

“I don't know what the hell is going on,” the man said of the gunshots fired in his neighborhood.

Several of the residents said they were “fed up” with the violence in Jeannette and want to move.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or

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