Police: Robbery leading to Penn Hills shootings was similar to past crime
The suspect in a weekend robbery turned homicide that police say led to him being shot and killed by a Penn Hills officer used a similar tactic to rob a woman in Pittsburgh earlier this month, according to a criminal complaint filed against him.
Onaje Dickinson, 20, of Pittsburgh was shot and killed by a Penn Hills police officer Sunday after police said he shot at and charged the officer in a basement where he was hiding.
Police were searching for Dickinson because they believed he was involved in robbery that left one man dead on Sharon Court across the street.
Myzle Ford, 15, has been described as an accomplice in the Sharon Court robbery and homicide and was charged Monday as an adult with homicide and other related charges. Details about the Sharon Court robbery mimicked details provided by police about a July 5 robbery in which Dickinson was a suspect.
On July 5, Dickinson allegedly used an unidentified man’s cell phone to lure a woman behind the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in Knoxville to buy marijuana. When she went to meet that man she thought was selling her marijuana, Dickinson approached her, according to the complaint.
As Dickinson approached, he took a black revolver from his waistband and pointed it at her head, the woman told police. Dickinson told the woman to give her everything she had, police wrote in the complaint. The woman said she gave him her purse, which contained $300 in cash, a debit card and her ID.
Police eventually identified Dickinson because officers “have dealt with him in the past,” according to the criminal complaint. Dickinson was charged with robbery, simple assault and theft by unlawful taking, and police obtained an arrest warrant because it was unknown where he was staying.
Ford described to police a similar tactic used by Dickinson in a planned robbery that left Joshua A. Makhanda-Lopez, 30, of Mt. Oliver dead in the driver’s seat of a Chevrolet Impala, according to the criminal complaint filed against Ford.
Prior to the shooting Sunday on Sharon Court, Ford told police Dickinson, also known as “JB,” was staying at his mom’s house on Frankstown Road for the last couple days.
The teen said Dickinson gave him a handgun and recruited him to help with the robbery that Makhanda-Lopez believed was a marijuana deal. Dickinson then used Ford’s cellphone and communicated with Makhana-Lopez “to lure him to the scene on Sharon Court,” the complaint said.
Ford told police he did not shoot Makhanda-Lopez and that he gave Dickinson his handgun back after the shooting.
Ford faces robbery, conspiracy, homicide and weapons violations and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Downtown Pittsburgh on July 24.
The Penn Hills police officer that shot and killed Dickinson has not been identified and remains on paid administrative leave. The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office has not yet issued a ruling on the shooting.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .