SWISSVALE, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – A man and a young boy were killed in a shooting at a Swissvale home and three people have been arrested.
Allegheny County police say the shooting happened Tuesday afternoon on Columbia Street. When officers arrived, they found 29-year-old Walter Stewart Jr. dead and a 7-year-old boy wounded. The boy was taken to a hospital, where he later died.
He has since been identified as Jo Lawrence Stewart, a first grader at Wilkins Primary in the Woodland Hills School District. KDKA’s Amy Wadas spoke to the superintendent of the district on Wednesday. He says Jo was a great student and a good kid who touched many lives.
The district released this statement saying in part: “Jo was the embodiment of a Wolverine; he was smart, kind, caring and always helped his peers. Please keep his family, his classmates, our teachers and our community in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Friends say Walter organized the Braddock Toy Drive over the past few years. They say he loved to give back and used his own money to put the drive together. One friend said he worked in a group home caring for adults with disabilities.
Police have charged 23-year-old Donavan Wilson, 26-year-old Brandon Barnett and 30-year-old Jacqua Barnett with two counts of homicide and conspiracy in the shooting. It was not immediately known if they have attorneys who can comment on the charges.
“At this point, it’s early in the investigation. We’re not sure of the motive or why the shooting occurred. We can speculate that it might be drug related and this might have been some type of robbery attempt,” said Allegheny County Police Lt. Andrew Schurman.
Lisa Washington’s Report:
Police say the shooting inside the home appears to have been an exchange of gunfire.
Sources believe Stewart is the person that shot Barnett, and believe Wilson is the suspect that shot and killed Stewart.
One of the people charged, Barnett, also was injured and was taken to a hospital. Police say he will survive his injuries.
Julie Grant’s Report:
“Shortly after the initial call for the shots fired, Monroeville Police were dispatched to a hospital that they had a shooting victim there. That victim we have determined now was involved in this incident and was driven to the hospital independent of any ambulance,” said Lt. Schurman.
Police said they believe everyone involved in this incident has been accounted for. In other words, they said there is no threat to the public.
They are asking anyone in the area at the time to call police with any information.
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