PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A man was questioned Friday morning in connection with a mass shooting in Wilkinsburg that claimed six lives.
According to the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department, Cheron Shelton, 29, was recently added to their most wanted fugitives list.
Friday morning, with the assistance of Pittsburgh SWAT and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, Shelton was taken into custody at a home on Hartmans Lane in Lincoln-Lemington.
Around 5:30 a.m., Shelton was taken out of a sheriff’s car and walked into Allegheny County Police headquarters in handcuffs.
According to sources, Shelton was questioned in connection with the shooting that claimed the lives of five adults and an unborn child earlier this month.
He was taken to the Allegheny County Jail on bench warrants for parole violations and charged with receiving stolen property and a felony gun violation. Those charges are based on a March 12 search of a home on Nolan Court in Homewood in which weapons and ammunition was seized. That was three days after the Wilkinsburg shootings.
At this time, Shelton has not been named as a suspect and no additional charges have been filed.
KDKA’s Marty Griffin reports that sources close to the investigation describe Shelton as a “suspect in the case,” saying, “we had our eye on him since shortly after the shooting.” However, sources caution that “he has not been cooperative,” and “we do not have enough to charge him with anything related to the Wilkinsburg shooting at this time.”
The criminal complaint for the charges filed Friday reports a Colt-model M4 carbine .22-long rifle semi-automatic weapon was discovered in the house searched in Homewood, along with four magazines of ammunition, a bag with live rounds, a rifle scope and gun parts, along with a bulletproof vest.
The .22-long rifle was reported stolen from Uniontown and there was a latent print from Shelton on that weapon.
But that kind of weapon is not consistent with the kinds of weapons police say were involved in the Wilkinsburg shootings.
All the ammunition found, however, is being analyzed to see if any ballistic matches can be found.
Later, Friday afternoon, Adrien and Chanel Falls were also arrested. They have been charged with hindering apprehension in connection with the arrest of Cheron Shelton. Adrien and Chanel Falls live in the home where Shelton was apprehended. Chanel Falls is the mother of Shelton’s baby, police say.
Police have been looking at the possibility that two gunmen were sent to Wilkinsburg to carry out what’s being described as an alleged “revenge killing.”
Police say one suspect, armed with the handgun, approached a backyard barbecue on Franklin Avenue from one direction and started shooting.
Then, as the approximately 15 people at the party tried to run inside the home, the second gunman walked up to the crime scene from a small alley on the other side of the house. That suspect began shooting with an AK-47-style rifle. A total of 49 shell casings were recovered.
The victims were identified as:
- Jerry Shelton, 35
- Tina Shelton, 37
- Brittany Powell, 27
- Chanetta Powell, 25
- Shada Mahone, 26
According to police, Cheron Shelton is not related to the victims.
Sources tell KDKA’s Marty Griffin that this is a very difficult investigation and they have spent a lot of time interviewing criminals about criminals.
As for the second suspect, KDKA’s Marty Griffin is told that police have several names of possible suspects that police are looking at, but aren’t certain any of them was the second shooter.
KDKA also learned Friday that Lamont Powell, who was injured in the shooting, is out of the hospital. He was sent to the jail infirmary because of an assault warrant from last December.
He then posted bond Friday and was released.
On Tuesday, several hundred family members and friends paid their final respects Chanetta, Brittany and Jerry.
Chanetta was eight months pregnant when she was murdered. Her unborn son was placed next to her in the casket.