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Pastor’s Concerns Grow After Latest Hill District Shooting

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(Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Police/KDKA)

(Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Police/KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Police are still searching for a suspect following a deadly shooting Saturday afternoon in Pittsburgh’s Hill District section.

The incident happened near a church and it has left the pastor, who also lost a son in a shooting last year, with growing concerns.

Dane Smith Jr. was just 21-years-old. He had been shot once before, had four children and spent some time in jail.

The mother of one of his children did not want to be identified on camera, but she said he had promised to get his life together.

“Just recently he promised, we were at Family Division, that he was going to straighten up his life,” she said. “He didn’t want to go back to jail; he was going to try to look for a job.”

But on Saturday, Smith’s life came to an end when he was shot and killed by a man chasing him with a shotgun on Centre Avenue.

Smith may have talked about getting his life together, but the mother of his child says pictures on his Facebook page portray someone caught in a fast life of guns, money and life on the streets.

“A lot of men are into street activities and things like that, and they have children, and they go and get killed or get locked up and be away from their children,” she said.

The shooting happened a block away from the Wesley Center AME Zion Church on Centre Avenue.

Four months ago, the church’s pastor lost his son in a shooting near the campus of California University of Pennsylvania. When he first heard about the latest shooting, Rev. Glenn Grayson feared he had lost another son because it happened so close to the church.

“I rushed down there and it wasn’t him, but the reality [is] another young black male is gone,” said Rev. Grayson.

Rev. Grayson has been working to stop the violence since his son, Jeron, was killed last year while he was home from college.

Jeron Grayson, Rev. Glenn Grayson, California University of Pennsylvania, shooting, victim, violence

Jeron Grayson, 18, was a student at Hampton University in Virginia (Photo Credit: KDKA)

“We’re just trying to spread a word and encourage, or tell people. I don’t want people to sit where I sit, so we feel another great loss for another life taken,” he added.

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