Father of Duquesne Heights teen who died in shooting seeks answers
The father of a 16-year-old Duquesne Heights boy who died after a weekend shooting said he wants the owner of the gun used to be held accountable.
“I want the right person or people held responsible, even if it was an accident,” Jack “Jay” Alman told the Trib on Wednesday.
Alman, 53, is a private piano instructor who lives in Tarentum.
His son, Alexander, died early Monday morning at UPMC Mercy hospital from a single gunshot wound he suffered while with an 18-year-old friend in the 300 block of Fingal Street in Duquesne Heights, Pittsburgh.
Alman said he’s been told that the wound Alexander suffered to his head was not self-inflicted.
Alman is looking for answers about what led up to the shooting.
“I’m not blaming anybody right now until I hear from police exactly what happened,” Alman said. “I know they’re working diligently.”
There were no updates in the case on Wednesday, Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Cara Cruz said.
Alman and Alexander’s mother divorced in 2012. Alexander’s mother declined to comment for this story.
On Sunday, Alman said he went to services at The Log Church in Pittsburgh’s Banksville neighborhood, had lunch and was relaxing in his backyard when he noticed missed calls and texts from Alexander’s mother later in the afternoon. She said Alexander was being taken to UPMC Mercy hospital.
A friend drove Alman to the hospital.
“I went in to the trauma unit. Alexander was all-but brain dead at that point,” Alman said.
Doctors tried to surgically relieve pressure on Alexander’s brain but were unsuccessful, he said.
He takes solace in his faith. Alexander was raised a Christian.
“This is what gives me comfort,” he said. “Obviously, I’ve been going through a whole bunch of emotions over the last few days.”
The community has offered its support, to the point that Alman jokingly said he’s tired of saying “thank you.”
“I’m just overwhelmed and humbled,” Alman said.
Alexander lived with his father a few years ago and attended seventh and eighth grades in the Highlands School District. He had just started his junior year at Brashear High School, where he was well-regarded, according to a statement from Pittsburgh Public Schools.
When he lived in Tarentum, Alexander enjoyed playing with his chihuahua named Cruz, his father said.
He said his son was a good kid with a good heart.
“I’ve got two other boys I have to take care of,” Alman said. “I’m going to make sure it doesn’t happen again; anything I can do, I’ll do.”
Visitation for Alexander is from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday at Szal Funeral Home, 238 Helen St., in McKees Rocks. The funeral will be held on Friday at 10 a.m. at Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church, also in McKees Rocks.
Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .