PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The family of a murdered 1-year-old boy is calling for justice after learning someone allegedly confessed in his death.
In May of 2013, Marcus White Jr. was at a family picnic in the East Hills when he was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting. Two of his aunts were also wounded during the gunfire.
Just after the shooting, the little boy’s mother, Jameela Tyler, told KDKA: “He was a happy baby. Everybody loved him. He didn’t deserve it. All of this, about what? I just don’t understand it.”
Attorney Paul Jubas claims White’s mother recently learned from social media that someone confessed to the shooting.
However, Jubas claims that man has not been prosecuted because he is cooperating in the upcoming trial involving the two suspects in the 2016 mass shooting at a backyard barbecue in Wilkinsburg, our news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report.
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In that case, the man is reportedly only being identified as “Witness Number Three.”
WATCH LIVE: Jubas Calls For Justice In Baby’s Slaying
“Our main demand is for justice for Baby Marcus,” said Jubas.
The attorney says his clients are calling for the suspect to be charged with criminal homicide and for Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala to step down. Jubas says it’s a “blatant” violation of the Pennsylvania Crime Victims Act.
However, a statement released Thursday morning from the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office is responding to the attorney’s claims.
It says, “Charges cannot be filed until evidence exists to sustain and prove those charges,” and adds that law enforcement in Allegheny County is “dedicated to combating violence,” and to say otherwise is “insulting.”
Read the DA’s Office full statement:
“In 2013, in the East Hills neighborhood of Pittsburgh, a vehicle containing four persons drove up on an apartment complex and fired multiple shots into a crowd in the common area of the apartments, killing 15-month-old Marcus White Jr.
“Understandably, any death of a child resulting from violence motivates both law enforcement and the community to search for answers. However, our office cannot file charges until such time as evidence exists to sustain and prove those charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
“Appropriately, an Allegheny County investigating grand jury was employed as an effective way to coordinate information concerning multiple instances of violent crime, including homicides, connected to specific groups of individuals in the City of Pittsburgh. This approach has thus far resulted in numerous arrests for acts of violence, homicide and otherwise, and the work of law enforcement in this effort is ongoing.
“The assumed work product of the grand jury as it pertains to the death of Marcus White Jr. and other violent crimes is protected by confidentiality. Consequently, the rules and statutes governing that confidentiality prohibit a more specific response.
“To make a statement that law enforcement is not absolutely and unconditionally dedicated to combating violence of any kind and anywhere in the City of Pittsburgh and throughout Allegheny County is insulting to the men and women charged with protecting our community each day.”
Opening statements are scheduled for Monday in the Wilkinsburg mass shooting trial.
The judge is considering barring testimony from the so-called “witness number three.” The defense is questioning his credibility and says they only received information about him days before the trial.
Stay with KDKA for live streaming of the press conference from Marcus White Jr.’s family at 4 p.m. and full reports on the story in our 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts.