Police reviewing surveillance footage from shooting outside Monroeville mall
Friday’s shooting outside a movie theater at the Monroeville Mall wasn’t a random act, the borough’s police chief said.
Police are reviewing surveillance camera footage from around midnight Friday, when the shots were fired, and seeking information from people who were in the area to find out who was behind it, said Chief Doug Cole.
“There’s no doubt in my mind this was a targeted event,” Cole said. “There was something going on with a group of people.”
No one was hurt and nothing was damaged by the shots, Cole said.
Police responded at 12:22 a.m. to the area by Cinemark Theaters, and dogs searched a black vehicle and nearby woods.
Three men and a juvenile were arrested and another juvenile ran from the scene, Cole said. The people arrested didn’t fire the shots, Cole said.
Raheem Jamal Smith, 19, of Pittsburgh, was charged with flight to avoid apprehension. Sincere Shaquon Smith, 18, of McKeesport, was charged with conspiracy, providing false identification and disorderly conduct. Tyjair DaShawn Smith, 18, was charged with providing conspiracy, providing false identification and disorderly conduct, Cole said.
He didn’t know if the Smiths are related.
They were in the area when the shots were fired and may have been bystanders or targets of the shots, Cole said.
“Obviously, we’re not getting much cooperation,” he said.
McKeesport resident Crystal Montez said the recent shooting makes her fear for her children, who regularly see movies at Cinemark Theaters with their friends. She sometimes sees movies with them but often leaves them alone.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Montez, 33. “It doesn’t make me feel safe at all. I’ll probably start taking them to the [theater] in North Versailles.
“It’s really a sad situation because somebody’s innocent child can get hurt.”
A manager at Cinemark Theaters declined to comment Friday. A phone message left for a Cinemark spokesperson wasn’t returned.
The mall is a place where people congregate, Chief Cole said, including those who are up to no good. It appears as if there is a “beef” between two groups of people.
“We’ll use all investigative means we have to find the individuals,” Cole said.
People with information should call Monroeville police at 412-856-1111.
Several people at the mall Friday afternoon had mixed reactions to the shooting. At least three people who spoke to the Tribune-Review said they were unaware a shooting had even taken place.
“Boy, I’m behind,” said Penny Boslett of Wilkins.
Boslett, 73, said the shooting won’t deter her from going to the mall, where she can be found walking three or four days a week.
“They won’t scare me away. If I get shot, I get shot. I do not care,” she said. “You can’t live that way. You could go to church and get shot. You could go to the shopping center and get shot. You can go to Walmart and get shot.
“What are you going to do — sit home and lock yourself indoors and be isolated? No, that’s not the answer. If you do that, then they’ve won.”
Monroeville Mall has been the site of several incidents in recent years, including a shooting on April 12 at Macy’s. A fight in the lower level of the mall grew until someone fired 14 shots at the department store. No one was injured.
In 2015, three people were shot inside Macy’s at the mall as the result of a fight nearby.
Mandy Novak, 23, was at the mall Friday to buy a new outfit from the Forever 21 store. She didn’t know about the shooting, but said it’s “really concerning.”
“It’s horrible that we have to always be so vigilant on things we do now,” she said.
She normally shops at Ross Park Mall, but said she went to the Monroeville Mall because the Forever 21 at Ross Park Mall closed.
“I don’t know what’s triggering these acts of violence,” she said, “but it should stop.”