PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A man wanted in connection with two fatal shootings earlier this year has been arrested.

According to Pittsburgh Police, 21-year-old James Lawrence was taken into custody in Homewood Wednesday morning.

Lawrence was wanted in connection with the Feb. 28, 2013, death of 28-year-old Tiona Jackson in Beltzhoover.

Jackson was a certified nursing assistant who was gunned down outside of Red’s Bar on Warrington Avenue.

He was also wanted in connection with the March 30, 2013, fatal shooting on Chartiers Avenue in Sheraden.

Steven Lee Jr., 21, of McKees Rocks, was out with friends on a party bus when he was shot multiple times in the neck, trunk and all extremities. He was pronounced dead at Allegheny General Hospital.

On Wednesday, the United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force developed information that Lawrence was at a home in the 7000-block of Chaucer Street in Homewood.

Officers knocked on the door around 10:47 a.m. and heard someone inside yell, “Don’t shoot. Don’t shoot.”

“They went to the residence, knocked on the front door,” said Commander Kevin Kraus, of Pittsburgh Police. “At that time, they heard a woman inside yelling frantically, ‘Don’t shoot. Don’t shoot.'”

Lawrence fled the home through the back door while wearing a bullet-proof vest and a foot pursuit ensued. Lawrence jumped over a fence and ran onto North Murtland Street.

He was eventually arrested on the porch of a home in the 1500-block of North Murtland Street.

Police searched Lawrence and uncovered crack cocaine and cash along with a camouflage mask and gloves. Police then searched the Chaucer Street residence and found an AK-47. A bag of ammunition was found nearby.

“They went back and cleared the residence and found what appeared to be an AK-47 and some AK-47 type ammunition laying on the floor by the back door where he ran out,” said Commander Kraus.

Lawrence has been charged with two counts of criminal homicide and was transported to the Allegheny County Jail.


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Lynne Hayes-Freeland