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Elderly Funeral Home Director Charged In Fatal Homestead Shooting

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Ralph Iannotti Ralph Iannotti
Ralph Iannotti began working as a KDKA-TV general assignment reporter...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – An ongoing argument is reportedly what prompted a fatal shooting in Homestead on Friday. The suspect is an elderly funeral home owner.

Betty Esper, the mayor of Homestead, said, “It’s a shock; I don’t know what else to say. I feel like my father just did something terrible. We’re all good friends in this town.”

Esper was reacting to the news that long-time Homestead funeral director, 89-year-old William Welsh, was arrested and charged in the fatal shooting of 58-year-old William Menni of McKees Rocks.

The shooting took place near Welsh’s funeral home after a verbal confrontation between the two men escalated in a parking lot adjacent to the funeral home where a vacant house was being demolished.

Esper said Menni was once friends with Welsh and even did embalming work for him at his funeral home, located on East 10th Avenue.

A police criminal complaint says Welsh told detectives that Menni began assaulting him, and then pushed him physically.

Welsh explained that he “snapped, pulled out a gun from his pocket and shot Menni twice.”

“This is like a horror story, like you are having a bad dream, and you say, ‘No, it didn’t happen.’ It’s sad, very sad,” Mayor Esper said.

As he was being escorted by Allegheny County Police to a waiting van Friday evening, Welsh told reporters, “I shot him; yes, because of harassment all the time.”

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