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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Stephen Drake, 47, was riding his motorcycle when he was gunned down on Fifth Avenue in Shadyside in the early morning hours of May 5.
Pittsburgh Police Det. Jason Farrell, the case’s lead investigator, tells KDKA-TV News, “From what we could tell, a vehicle pulls up beside Steve and opens fire on him in the 5800 block. We found shell casings in that blocks, the car speeds off.”
Drake was a community activist. He tried to ease tensions in the Homewood neighborhood, before gang-related violence exploded into gun violence.
The gang violence was something Drake could relate to, and young people would listen his stories after the run-ins with police he experienced when he was a youth.
“You don’t have to be a product of where you came from. Steve was a great example of that,” said Karla Drake, Stephen’s widow.
Det. Farrell said, “We believe this was a targeted shooting. We don’t think it was random. As for why, we’re still unsure of that right now.”
Detectives say they’ve gotten some tips in their investigation, but they have not been able to piece together enough to make an arrest.
Drake’s widow wonders if that’s not because of a persistent attitude of “non-cooperation with authorities” that seems to have become prevalent.
“It’s a code of silence where people don’t feel comfortable talking to police. I believe that’s what’s going on now,” she said. “You know what? In my eyes, the type of guy that Steve was, I don’t believe he would condone that.”
If you have any information on the shooting, Pittsburgh Crime Stoppers would like to hear from you. The number is 412-255-8477.
There is a reward, and you can remain anonymous.