Pittsburgh man accused of killing man in Arnold ordered to stand trial
A Pittsburgh man was ordered Monday to stand trial in connection with the April 5 shooting death of a man in Arnold.
Shawden L. “Black” Ross, 32, of Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood, is accused of fatally shooting Lamont Simmons, 27, after an early-morning argument in which Ross blamed Simmons for setting him up to be robbed.
At a preliminary hearing Monday, Rasaun L. Kennedy, 33, of McKees Rocks testified that he had been with the two men the morning of the shooting.
Kennedy said he had been playing cards, drinking liquor and smoking marijuana at a house on Arnold’s Fourth Avenue when Ross and Simmons arrived together after midnight. Kennedy said he had met Ross twice before, but it was the first time he had met Simmons.
Kennedy testified that Ross and Simmons appeared to be getting along before they left the house after a couple of hours. At some point, Kennedy testified, Ross and Simmons returned and Kennedy saw Ross holding a revolver inches from Simmons’ head.
A woman in the house told the two men to take their disagreement outside, so Kennedy said he walked outside with them.
Asked why he didn’t try to intervene and prevent the situation from escalating, Kennedy replied, “You don’t interfere with a man about to be shot.”
As the men walked away from the house, Ross grabbed an arm of Simmons’ hooded sweatshirt or jacket and “dragged Lamont (Simmons) along” while holding a revolver in his other hand, Kennedy testified.
“We walked to an alley and I heard the first shot but I didn’t see it. I froze. Then I saw the second shot. I heard three or more shots. Lamont moaned ‘aah,’ grabbed the back of his thigh, and then he fell,” Kennedy testified.
Ross said Simmons had tried to set him up for a robbery, but Ross got away.
Kennedy said Ross repeatedly said, “He tried to backdoor me. He tried to backdoor me.”
Kennedy and Ross returned to the Fourth Avenue house after the shooting.
Arnold patrolman Robert Haus testified that police found Simmons about a half-block away from the house shortly after the shooting. Simmons was taken to Allegheny Valley Hospital in Harrison, where he was pronounced dead at 5:11 a.m.
After viewing surveillance footage taken in the area around the time of the shooting, investigators went to the Fourth Avenue home later that morning. Haus said a .22-caliber, long-barreled revolver was found on the floor of an upstairs bedroom only a few feet away from where a 4-year-old girl was sleeping.
Asked why he didn’t initially tell investigators what he had witnessed, Kennedy said he was intoxicated and knew Ross was in the same house where he had been sleeping with the girl’s mother. Kennedy was taken into custody on outstanding warrants out of Allegheny County, but he has not been charged in connection with the shooting.
In addition to homicide, Ross is charged with having a gun when he wasn’t allowed because of his prior criminal record and receiving stolen property. Detectives said the revolver was stolen in Hanover Township in Beaver County.
Ross is scheduled to be formally arraigned in Westmoreland County Court in July.
Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, [email protected] or via Twitter .