PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Allegheny County Police have issued an arrest warrant for a teenager in connection with a shooting in a North Braddock apartment complex on Monday night.
The incident happened around 8:30 p.m. at the General Braddock Towers on Sixth Street.
When officers arrived at the scene, investigators say they found the victim – a 16-year-old girl – with a gunshot wound to her cheek. According to the criminal complaint, she was “bleeding profusely from the face.”
She was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital to be treated for the wound on the right side of her face, near her mouth. She was listed in stable condition on Tuesday morning and is expected to make a full recovery.
Police have issued an arrest warrant for 16-year-old Damond Thomas of West Mifflin.
Police say he and the victim were communicating online, before Thomas went to the second-floor apartment. They say he was “horse-playing with a gun that he brought to the apartment” when it went off and a bullet hit the girl.
“During that visit one of the young men was playing with a handgun,” said Insp. Andrew Schurman, of the Allegheny County Police Dept. “The gun went off, struck the young lady in the face, she was transported to the hospital.”
Schurman says they have reached out to Thomas’ family.
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Thomas Moye, who lives in General Braddock Tower, said, “At that point, there was a lot of ruckus in the building. We heard a lot of people running.”
Moye said, “My fiancée was in the building with me. She happened to come out in the hallway, she saw a young lady sitting there, holding her face, and crying, and I believe the girl was shot in the face.”
Moye says the building needs more security, and he said, teens with guns is a bad combination.
“A 16-year-old child with a gun is not right period,” said Moye. “What is a 16-year-old child doing with a gun in the first place?”
Prior to being shot, the girl told Thomas that she did not like guns and “told him to put it away,” the criminal complaint said.
Police investigators say they used surveillance video as part of their investigation. According to the criminal complaint, police say the 16-year-old suspect and two others, were seen entering the General Braddock Tower and leaving shortly after the shooting.
“Unfortunately, it’s not an uncommon occurrence that teenagers have access to firearms,” said Insp. Schurman. “I’m not sure how or what makes that so prevalent, but it is something that we have to deal with as a police department and as a community.”
Thomas was last seen wearing a black t-shirt, black-and-white Adidas pants and Jordan sneakers.
He is facing charges of aggravated assault, carrying a firearm without a license, possession of a firearm by a minor, simple assault and reckless endangerment.
Anyone who has seen Thomas or knows where he is should call the Allegheny County Police TipLine at 1-833-ALL-TIPS (1-833-255-8477).