PENN HILLS (KDKA) – A man is recovering in the hospital after being shot by a hitchhiker he picked up Sunday night in Penn Hills.

According to police, the incident happened around 8 p.m. near the BP Gas Station at the intersection of Robinson Boulevard and Frankstown Road.

The victim, 18-year-old Curtis Bell Jr., 18, was shot in the back for what appears to be a good deed.

“While en route, they received another call that the individual that had been shot was at his home on Suncrest Drive,” Penn Hills Police Chief Howard Burton said.

When police got to Bell’s home, they found him in the backseat. Two other passengers were in the car when the shooting happened.

A female was in the front seat and a male was in the back. Bell was driving along Robinson Boulevard, when they noticed a hitchhiker standing on the side of the road.

“He asked for a ride up the top of the hill. Once he got in the vehicle in the backseat, he pulled a gun. A struggle ensued in the backseat between the original passenger in the backseat and the new passenger,” Chief Burton said.

That’s when the gun went off and struck Bell in the back. The shooter took off.

One of the passengers put Bell in the backseat and drove him home. An ambulance later took him to the hospital. His mom says he’s okay for now.

The white Saturn Vue was impounded as evidence and towed to Don Kuhn Auto Body until it can be processed for evidence.

Bell is being treated at UPMC Presbyterian. At last check, the bullet was still lodged in his torso.

The suspect is described as being a thin African-American male about 18-20 years old. He had a deep voice with a dark complexion, mustache and goatee.

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