PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The families affected by the massacre in Wilkinsburg are reacting to the charges that were filed this past week.
On Mar. 9, 2016 a family was ambushed at a backyard barbecue.
Killed in the shooting were 25-year-old Chanetta Powell, who was 8 months pregnant, 35-year-old Jerry Shelton, 37-year-old Tina Shelton, 29-year-old Brittany Powell and 26-year-old Shada Mahone.
Last week, police charged 29-year-old Cheron Shelton and 27-year-old Robert Thomas with the shootings. Police had been holding the pair in the jail on unrelated charges, as the case was locked up. They say the shooting was a retaliation move, do an incident from 2013.
Monday, through a spokesperson, the victims’ family said they were relieved that an arrest has been made, but they are still grieving. The family said they are looking for justice.
Their first chance for that could come as early as Friday when suspects Shelton and Thomas are scheduled for a preliminary hearing. Today the district attorney’s office asked to move that proceeding to the county courthouse for security concerns, saying there is a potential for retaliation.
The family minister said they have always been aware of security issues, even at the funerals for the victims and they are taking that same approach for Friday’s hearing.
“We’ll take it as it goes, we’ll leave that to the experts. If there’s a threat out there, they’ll know it and we’ll respect their judgement, ” said Pastor Maurice Trent with Lighthouse Cathedral Church, speaking for the family of the victims.
Asked whether she wants the death penatly in this case, family matriarch Jessica Shelton said, “It’s not my place to decide how one leaves the earth, it’s up to God.”
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday.