North Huntingdon drug bust nets suspect in Monroeville Mall shooting |

North Huntingdon drug bust nets suspect in Monroeville Mall shooting

Paul Peirce
Pennsylvania State Police
In January, state police troopers confiscated this package containing 50 bricks of suspected heroin from Laplez G. Cummings, 34, of Pittsburgh during three-mile chase along Route 30 in North Huntingdon.

A McKeesport man allegedly involved in April’s fight and shooting at Monroeville Mall was arrested in the Walmart parking lot in North Huntingdon Tuesday after state police say they found him with 15 bricks of heroin in his possession.

Brandon K. Murphy, 24, has remained at large since mid-May when five other men were arrested in connection with the shooting that left patrons in the mall and in anchor store Macy’s Backstage scrambling.

On April 12, two McKeesport gangs started a fight that led to the shooting, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said at the time, which led to the arrest of five men.

Alleged shooter, 21-year-old Brandon Noel, of McKeesport, was charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, riot, reckless endangerment and firing into an occupied structure.

Jared Ogrosky, 21, Fordery Morris, 20 and Treysaun Lockett-Tillman, all from McKeesport, were charged with one count each of riot, simple assault and disorderly conduct. Police at the time said Murphy would face the same charges, along with Jamall Abdul-Rabb, 22, of Turtle Creek.

Zappala said the fight stemmed from a dispute between the gangs, one affiliated with Crawford Square and one affiliated with Harrison Village. Noel, Ogrosky, Morris and Lockett-Tillman are affiliated with Crawford while Murphy is connected to the Harrison group, he said.

According to the criminal complaint, the men went into Macy’s shortly after 7:30 p.m. Morris bought a shirt and the five men left the store but returned “as if the group saw something or someone.”

Police believe Noel walked to a car where he retrieved a 9mm handgun. The group then went into the lower level of mall where Ogrosky started a fight with Murphy, who was already in the mall, police said.

More men joined the fight, which began near the mall’s children’s play area, the complaint reads. The fight moved into Macy’s and the five men who arrived together eventually rant toward the store’s outdoor exit, officers said. As they did, Noel allegedly fired 14 shots toward Marcy’s double doors.

The men scattered after that.

During Tuesday’s incident, police were watching the Walmart parking lot after receiving information that Murphy had been frequenting the area, Trooper Jake Goga said in a report.

Goga reported in court documents that when Murphy was asked to step out of his vehicle, “750 stamp bags of heroin fell from his lap onto the floor of (the vehicle).” A brick consists of 50 stamp bags of heroin.

Murphy was arraigned on charges of manufacturing, delivery and possession of a controlled substance and possession of heroin in relation to the North Huntingdon incident. He is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison on $75,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled June 12.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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