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Gunshot strikes Jeannette boy's ear, 11, in bedroom

| Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, 10:27 a.m.

An 11-year-old Jeannette child suffered an ear injury from a gunshot on Wednesday when someone fired six rounds into his West Jeannette home, police said.

Trent Marciniak said he was standing in his sister's bedroom in their South 14th Street home when the bullets pierced the wall, grazing the boy's ear.

The incident occurred just three days after a community group staged a march along Clay Avenue downtown to protest a surge of violent incidents in the city. Since fall, Jeannette police have investigated home invasions, an attempted shooting and a drive-by shooting that targeted several homes the day before Thanksgiving. Officers have confiscated weapons and made arrests for heroin sales.

The boy's grandmother, Dee McAuliffe, said she was using her computer downstairs when she heard “pop, pop, pop” sounds.

Her two grandchildren started screaming.

“It hurt,” said Trent. “I thought, what was going to happen to me. I just remember my mommy picking me up and my grandpa screaming and my ear hurting.”

“He could have been killed. It was just by the grace of God,” said McAuliffe, who has lived in the house for 38 years. “What happened? I don't know. We don't bother anybody. It had to have been random.”

Candice Teeters said the thickness of the bedroom wall may have saved her son.

“We were so close to losing him,” she said. “If it wasn't for the thickness of the insulation in the walls and the grace of God.”

Jeannette police Officer Justin Scalzo said the child was lucky.

“If (the bullet) would have been over further, it would have hurt him,” he said.

Jeannette and Manor police scoured the area looking for footprints in the snow and shell casings. They found a fragment from a small-caliber bullet in the bedroom.

Scalzo said police have no suspects in the shooting.

An hour after the 14th Street incident, police responded to a report of gunshots in the area of Chestnut and Division streets.

“Several witnesses said they heard three or four shots in the area,” Scalzo said.

Richard Gazarik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6292 or at rgazarik@tribweb.com.

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