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A Long, Hot...Winter?

Posted by Elwin Green on January 22, 2016 at 6:50 PM

The shooting last night of Ja-nese Talton-Jackson, followed by a car chase through Homewood into Wilkinsburg, capped a week of shootings and car crashes.


Last Friday night/Saturday morning, at around 3:15 a.m., a collision between a Saturn sedan and a Lincoln Navigator drove the Saturn through a front  window of the Homewood-Brushton Branch of Community College of Allegheny Country, and smashed the Navigator into a pole.


I came upon the scene while returning home from a night of driving for Uber. Officers weren't able to tell me much because it had just happened, and they were still investigating.


(My phone's camera is great for daylight or well-lit situations, not so much for nighttime photography.)

The next day, Sonya Toler, the Public Safety Department's spokeswoman, responded to my query with this an email containing this brief summary


At approximately 3:15 a.m. a 911 caller reported a two vehicle accident at the intersection of N. Homewood Avenue & Kelly Street. Three people were involved. One female with minor injuries was transported to UPMC Presby.


She also informed me that "crash reports do not need to be complete for 10 days after the incident."


Good to know, and that's that for that incident for now.


Saturday night/Sunday morning, 24 hours after the first incident, while returning home again from Ubering, I came across a scene where police had blocked off a section of Bennett Street where it intersects Dallas and Frankstown Avenues.


One car was smashed up in the middle of the street, another had ended up in someone's front yard. I saw some of the same officers from the night before, and was asked to keep more of a distance this time because this incident had involved shooting, making it not just an accident scene, but a crime scene.


Here's the report from the Zone 5 weekly community crime update:


Officers responded to a ShotSpotter notification that indicated eight rounds had been fired at the above location. Officers arrived to find a 2016 silver Chevrolet Malibu with several bullet holes, wrecked into a parked car. The occupants of the Malibu fled prior to officers arriving at the scene, but they left behind a Glock pistol and over (4) “bricks” of heroin (over 200 stamp bags). Officers began searching the area and soon learned that the driver had been shot (minor injury) and was awaiting EMS in the 500 block of N. Murtland Avenue. A second passenger was with him and was uninjured. The third passenger transported himself to UPMC East in Monroeville with a gunshot wound to the buttocks (minor injury). The three males were identified as Martel Maurice Bryant, 24, of Larimer, Tiere Maddox, 19, of Penn Hills, and Shawn William Taylor, 23, (Address unknown). All three were arrested on drug & gun charges. None of the males would give any information on the individuals who shot them.


On Wednesday evening, my wife and I were returning from dinner with friends  when we passed by the scene of the shooting in the 700 block of N. Lang Ave that we told you about earlier. UPDATE: Yesterday morning, Cmdr. Lando reported that  "The incident in the 700 block of N. Lang Avenue in Homewood was resolved late last night with the SWAT team taking the suspects into custody without incident or injury."

The Post-Gazette account is here. 

The obvious questions are, other than last night's murder, which seems to stand alone, are any of these incidents related, in a crime spree by people who are connected to each other? Or are a whole bunch of people just suddenly and independently going bonkers? Is it going to be a long, hot winter?

More after I speak with Cmdr. Lando.

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