TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Monessen man died from bullet to the neck, coroner says

To reach police

Monessen police can be reached at 724-684-4620 until 4:30 p.m.

After 4:30 p.m., the department can be contacted through 911.

Thursday, May 29, 2014, 5:06 p.m.
 

A man who was killed in Monessen died from a single gunshot wound in the neck, an autopsy on Thursday discovered.

Westmoreland County Deputy Coroner Joshua Zappone said Dennis R. Fitzwater, 31, suffered blood loss that caused his death.

Two masked men bound Fitzwater's wrists with tape before shooting him about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night in a home in the 500 block of Chestnut Street, according to Monessen police and Westmoreland County detectives.

No arrests have been made.

The coroner's office ruled the death a homicide. Toxicology reports on Fitzwater, 31, will take several weeks to complete.

Two children, ages 2 and 5, apparently slept through the attack, when the men entered the home and shot Fitzwater in a second-floor bedroom, police said.

Fitzwater apparently managed to get downstairs to the kitchen and collapsed on the floor, his wrists bound with tape, according to city police Chief John Mandarino.

He was pronounced dead at 4:10 a.m. on Wednesday by Zappone and Deputy Coroner Doug Lewis.

Police are looking for two black men, one about 6 feet 3 inches tall, and the other about 5 feet 10 inches tall. Both wore black hooded sweatshirts and covered their faces with bandanas.

Mandarino said a man and a woman who were in the home during the shooting were questioned on Wednesday morning at the city police station.

The gunmen allegedly threatened the male resident before shooting Fitzwater.

On Wednesday, investigators recovered a Taurus .38-caliber special revolver, which had been reported stolen in Donora, concealed within a tire outside the Chestnut Street home, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Ballistic tests are being conducted to determine whether the firearm was used to kill Fitzwater.

Fitzwater was released on Thursday from the county jail, where he had been held since May 17 on charges of drug possession and drug paraphernalia charges. He posted $10,000 bond through a bail bondsman.

He was awaiting a preliminary hearing before West Newton District Judge Charles Christner on theft charges filed in 2013 for $9,000 worth of metal rims in North Belle Vernon. In 2008, Fitzwater was sentenced to two years of intermediate punishment after a conviction for selling marijuana.

Parzynski Funeral Home in North Belle Vernon is handling funeral arrangements.

Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

 

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Westmoreland

  1. Norwin band director is finding lots of success in return to his alma mater
  2. Project to tear down former Jeannette District Memorial Hospital on schedule, Excela says
  3. Jeannette company’s miniature steam engines coveted for decades
  4. Westmoreland County furloughs weights and measurements director
  5. Police gather in Ligonier for Perryopolis officer’s funeral
  6. Penn Township man who shot friend gets probation
  7. Hempfield leaders kill zoning request for townhomes
  8. Ligonier Township residents concerned about hydraulic fracturing amid draft zoning ordinance
  9. Unity name excised from Latrobe parks, recreation
  10. Mt. Pleasant man charged with unlawful restraint
  11. 11 Westmoreland inmates accused of setting fire put in solitary confinement