MT. LEBANON (KDKA) — A Mt. Lebanon man has been arrested and charged in connection with the death of his 4-month-old daughter.
Mt. Lebanon Police and paramedics were sent to a home in the 500 block of Osage Road just before 12:30 p.m. Sunday in response to a call about an unresponsive 4-month-old girl.
The baby was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead at 1:20 p.m. The Allegheny County medical examiner’s office identified the victim as 4-month-old Victoria Gazzam.
According to the medical examiner’s office, the cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head and trunk. Her death was ruled a homicide.
Police determined that Victoria’s father, Joseph Gazzam, was responsible for his daughter’s injuries.
Investigators said that Gazzam and the baby’s mother, Kayla Walter, lived in a finished attic of her parent’s home on Osage Road.
Ron Paree lives next door. He couldn’t believe what happened.
“I’m shocked. I can’t understand how this could happen to a 3½ -month-old baby. I just don’t believe it,” he said.
On Sunday morning, Walter went to work at a Wendy’s, and Gazzam and his daughter took a nap in bed.
Investigators said that when questioned, Gazzam originally said that his daughter was likely injured when she fell out of bed. Later, he said his daughter was fussy and she would not stop crying when he changed her diaper.
According to the criminal complaint, Gazzam then admitted he repeatedly punched his daughter with a closed fist while she was lying in bed.
When police and paramedics arrived at the home just after noon on Sunday, the child was unresponsive. When she arrived at St. Clair Hospital, a doctor said she had bruises on her body and her left arm was broken.
“You see this and hear this. I’m still at a loss of words; I’m just totally shocked still,” Paree said.
Gazzam was arrested and charged with homicide, recklessly endangering another person and endangering the welfare of a child.
He was lodged in the Allegheny County Jail to await arraignment.