Newspaper delivery driver killed in New Kensington shooting |
Valley News Dispatch

Newspaper delivery driver killed in New Kensington shooting

Madasyn Czebiniak
Madasyn Czebiniak | Tribune-Review
Gregory L. Smith, 69, of New Kensington was delivering newspapers when he was shot and killed in New Kensington early Thursday, May 23, 2019. His car crashed into a fence in the 1200 block of Kenneth Avenue.
One person was shot to death Thursday, May 23, 2019, in New Kensington, officials said.
Police are investigating a shooting in New Kensington on May 23, 2019.

A newspaper delivery driver was shot and killed while out on his route early Thursday in New Kensington, police said.

Gregory L. Smith, 69, of New Kensington was shot in the head, according to the Westmoreland County Coroner’s Office.

The coroner’s office ruled the death a homicide.

New Kensington police Chief Bob Deringer said investigators did not know the motive for the shooting.

He said police were canvassing the area for possible video footage and witnesses.

“We don’t know if this was a robbery attempt or just random,” Deringer said. “That’s still under investigation.”

Smith’s niece, Andrea Smith, doesn’t know why anybody would shoot her uncle, who she described as a helpful, loving man.

“He was the most caring man you could ever meet,” Andrea Smith said. “For someone to do that to him is just disgusting. I don’t know why you would do that to people.”

Smith started delivering the Tribune-Review on May 15 as an independent contractor, said Dave Fellabaum, the Trib’s executive director of information systems.

“Our thoughts are with Greg’s family at this difficult time,” Fellabaum said.

Smith also worked as an independent carrier for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for more than 18 years, said Lisa Hurm, the PG’s vice president and general manager.

“We are truly saddened by this horrific turn of events. Our deepest sympathies go out to Greg’s family, friends and those who cared about him,” Hurm said.

Deringer said police were called to the 1200 block of Kenneth Avenue shortly after 3 a.m. for a report of shots fired and a car into a fence. When officers arrived, they found a gray Chevrolet Impala crashed into a fence and up on a sidewalk in front of two houses.

“The vehicle was still in drive; the engine was running,” Deringer said.

Deringer said Smith, the driver of the car, was unconscious and bleeding severely from a head wound.

Police removed him from the car and attempted first aid and CPR until paramedics arrived. He died at the scene.

Smith had been shot once. He was the only person in the car, Deringer said.

Deringer said it appears Smith was shot at the intersection of Catalpa Street and Kenneth Avenue. The car then continued south and crashed into the fence.

Police recovered multiple shell casings from the scene.

Andrea Smith said her uncle was a dedicated worker who cared about his job and customers.

He delivered newspapers for many years, since she was a little girl. She used to go with him on his paper routes.

“When he delivered papers … he would walk them right up to the porch,” she said. “I’ve never seen a harder worker than him. In the pouring rain, he would work. Sick or not, he would be working. Snow, rain, anything.”

New Kensington police and the Westmoreland County District Attorney’s Office are investigating.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 911 or 724-339-7533.

Staff reporter Tawnya Panizzi contributed to this report.

Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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