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Investigative Reporting

Teen's shooting death puzzles his relatives

| Monday, May 14, 2007

Rayshawn Felton was the peacemaker in his family, always the first to quell an argument or smooth over a disagreement, relatives said.

That nature makes it that much harder for his sister, Rana Felton, to understand why someone gunned down the 17-year-old on a Duquesne street last summer. No one has come forward with information on the homicide, which further frustrates his family.

"I know there were dozens of people out on that street, and no one will say what they saw," said Felton, of Duquesne. "What if that was their loved one• Wouldn't they want someone to speak up and help solve the murder?"

The Taylor Allderdice High School senior was walking in the 100 block of North Third Street about 6:30 p.m. on July 25 when someone shot him once in the chest. Neighbors reported hearing gunshots, but most said they didn't look for the source of the gunfire because they were so used to hearing it, Allegheny County detectives said.

Duquesne police found Felton dead on the sidewalk in front of a vacant lot.

County police Detective Michael Peairs said investigators haven't determined a motive for the slaying.

Felton said her brother, who would have turned 18 this May 26, was a talented football player. He also enjoyed wrestling and swimming, she said.

"He was an excellent football player," she said. "Playing football was what he wanted to do with his life."

Rayshawn Felton's father, Joel Corbett, said his son's goal was to attend college on a football scholarship.

"He was outgoing and funny and always joking," said Corbett, of Penn Hills. "Everybody loved him. He wasn't a troublemaker. He wasn't out there running the street, carrying guns and dealing drugs. He used athletics to keep himself out of trouble. He had good manners and was very respectful to adults."

Corbett said he struggles to understand his son's slaying, and the fact that the person responsible has yet to be charged.

"That person is still walking the streets, and my son is dead and buried," Corbett said.

Additional Information:

Cold Case Files

Every Monday, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and local police publish details of unsolved homicides. Anyone with information on today's case can call Allegheny County Police communications dispatch at 412-473-3000 or county homicide Lt. Christopher Kearns at 412-473-1253. Callers can remain anonymous. People with information can also visit the county police headquarters at 400 N. Lexington Ave. in North Point Breeze.

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