15-year-old to be charged in connection with Penn Hills killing
A 15-year-old has been arrested by Allegheny County police, suspected of being involved in the murder of a man in Penn Hills on Sunday evening.
Police said Myzle Ford of Penn Hills will be charged as an adult with robbery, conspiracy, homicide and weapons violations.
Ford fled to his mother’s house on Frankstown Road after he and another man allegedly were involved in shooting and killing a man across the street Sunday evening. He eventually came out of the house when his mother told him and others to exit, police said.
Onaje Dickinson, 20, of Pittsburgh, who police described as Ford’s accomplice, did not come out when summoned by police and Ford’s mother. A Penn Hills police officer entered the home to locate Dickinson. He found him hiding in the basement. Dickinson fired a handgun and charged the officer, police said. The officer shot and killed Dickinson.
Dickinson was pronounced dead at the scene.
Penn Hills police Chief Howard Burton declined to identify the Penn Hills officer who shot and killed the man. He said the officer, who received an injury to his knee during the exchange, is currently on paid administrative leave, per protocol. The officer was treated at a local hospital for his injuries but has since been released, Burton said.
The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office had no comment on the incident Monday.
The incident started when police responded to a shooting at an apartment complex along Sharon Court about 9 p.m. Sunday and found Joshua A. Makhanda-Lopez, 30, of Mt. Oliver dead in the driver’s seat of a Chevrolet Impala. He had been shot in the head.
“We believe that the subject (Makhanda-Lopez) was lured to the scene as part of a robbery/conspiracy and, at that time, he was shot,” Allegheny County police Superintendent Coleman McDonough said.
A criminal complaint filed against Ford said police recovered 9mm bullet casings from the scene where Makhanda-Lopez was found dead.
Witnesses told police that four young men were inside a woman’s home along the 9200 block of Frankstown Road. Officers requested the woman tell them all to come outside, and two of the four did. Officers then called for the other two, but only one came out, police said. Ford was among the people who came out of the house. Dickinson did not.
Court records show Dickinson had an arrest warrant out in connection with a robbery that happened July 5.
According to the criminal complaint, Ford said Dickinson, also known as “JB,” was staying at his mom’s house on Frankstown Road for the last couple days. On Sunday, Dickinson recruited Ford to help him rob someone that planned to sell him marijuana.
“(Dickinson) recruited him to help him with the robbery and provided him a handgun. (Ford) said that (Dickinson) used his cell phone and instant messaged the person that (Dickinson) shot to lure him to the scene on Sharon Court,” the affidavit said.
Ford told police it was Dickinson that shot and killed Makhanda-Lopez.
“JB shot the driver/person delivering marijuana on Sharon Ct. from real close in his head as the victim sat in his car,” said the criminal complaint.
After the shooting, Ford told police he and Dickinson ran back to his mom’s house on Frankstown Road and gave Dickinson the handgun back.
When asked by police what type of gun Dickinson lent him, Ford said he didn’t remember but that it was a black gun.
The criminal complaint said a silver Taurus .38 special revolver and a black Ruger 9mm handgun were recovered in the basement where Dickinson was fatally shot.
A man who lives in a house next to the apartment complex said he was sitting in his backyard smoking a cigarette when he heard three “pops.”
“There’s been fireworks going off like every night, so I thought nothing of it,” he said, only providing his first name — Dom — because he feared retaliation.
“But then I started seeing ambulances and people and cops gathering around, and I thought, ‘maybe those were gunshots,’ ” he said.
Dom said he’s lived in that house for nearly 10 years and has never experienced trouble like that.
Another man who lives in the apartment complex on Sharon Court said he saw men he didn’t recognize walking around the complex earlier in the day. He said they were carrying grocery bags. Three or four gunshots came a few hours later.
“I was doing laundry, folding clothes. I slammed my door shut and locked it. And I saw three guys running. One had a red shirt, and I think the other wore a black shirt,” he said. The man — who spoke to a reporter from his porch with his young daughter close by — did not provide his name in fear of retaliation. He said he’s glad the rest of his family was not home when it happened.
“It’s definitely tough … It seemed like we wouldn’t run into (crime) here,” he said.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .