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Confrontation leads to fatal shooting

| Friday, Dec. 20, 2002

Police are searching for a Wilkinsburg man in connection with a fatal shooting there early Thursday.

Allegheny County police charged Demetrious Fleming, 21, of the 500 block of Campbell Street, with criminal homicide in the shooting death of Marvin Housch, 42, who was found dead on the outside steps of his Findley Drive rental unit around 2 a.m. yesterday.

County police Assistant Superintendent James Morton said Fleming is considered armed and dangerous and is believed to be driving a 1993 white Oldsmobile sedan.

Morton said Housch and Fleming are believed to have argued over Housch's alleged mistreatment of his stepdaughter, whom Fleming once dated.

Wilkinsburg police Chief Richard Dwyer said yesterday that when Housch's body was found, he had a 10-inch butcher knife in the waistband of his sweatpants.

"You don't just walk outside with a 10-inch butcher knife down your sweatpants. It must have been a pretty serious beef," Dwyer said.

Dwyer said neighbors overheard five shots in rapid succession overnight. He said Housch was shot in the face and twice in the left side of his abdomen.

Housch was pronounced dead at the scene about 2:10 a.m.

Morton said Housch had been overheard having a heated phone conversation earlier in the evening and said, "'Come over and I'll see you outside'."

Dwyer said Wilkinsburg police had been called to Housch's apartment building about 1:55 a.m. by neighbors who reported hearing a shouting match inside the apartment.

But Dwyer said that when police arrived, things had quieted, and police left without going inside. About five minutes later, police got a call of a shooting at the same address.

Both Fleming and Housch have criminal records.

Housch was serving a three-year probation for a March 2001 conviction for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, theft, and making terroristic threats, according to court records. Fleming is awaiting an April trial on charges of possession of a weapon without a license, driving under the influence and underage drinking.

Stephen Johnson, 46, a neighbor of Housch's, said he did not know the victim but said that area of Findley Drive has been having problems recently.

Findley Drive is a semicircular road that runs off William Penn Highway in Wilkinsburg. It is lined by several brick, two-story apartment complexes, including the one where Housch lived.

Johnson, who lives across the street from Housch, said two months ago a car was burned in his driveway.

He said the building where he lives has always been safe but lately he has begun to take precautions to ensure the safety of his children.

"I've got a good building," Johnson said. "But now after stuff like this, you have to make sure."

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