Two killed, eight wounded in shooting at house party
PITTSBURGH — Shots fired at a house party in Pittsburgh early Sunday left two minors dead and at least eight more people wounded, police said.
The shooting happened around 12:30 a.m. during a party at a short-term rental property where there were more than 200 people inside — many of them underage, Pittsburgh police said in a news release. Two male victims died at the hospital, police said, and eight more people were being treated for gunshot wounds. A police release initially said nine others were injured, but Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert revised the numbers at a noon press conference.
Others were injured attempting to flee, with at least two people suffering broken bones by jumping out of the building's windows, authorities said. Arriving officers reported hearing shots in the area and seeing several young people fleeing the area on foot and in vehicles, police said.
Police said as many as 50 rounds were fired inside and several more were fired outside. Shell casings from rifles and pistols were found at the scene, Pittsburgh police commander John Fisher told WTAE-TV. Police are processing evidence at as many as eight separate crime scenes spanning a few blocks around the shooting scene, police said.
"You have alcohol, you have underage people here and you have guns — that's a deadly combination at any type of an event, and the end result is it's a tragedy," Fisher told WPXI-TV.
The names of the two youths who died weren't immediately released. No arrests were immediately reported and police didn't immediately release information about any suspects.
Allegheny General Health reported that seven people were treated at Allegheny General Hospital and one at Jefferson Hospital for gunshot wounds or other injuries. but officials declined to release their conditions or other information.
Neighbor Mitchell Wilston, 30, told The Associated Press that he and his wife were out during the shooting but before leaving saw the neighborhood packed with people, with cars parked the wrong way down the street and a line outside the rented home.
"It was so obvious that there was going to be a problem — there was a line of 14-year-old kids trying to get into this place," he said. The house has been rented for bachelorette parties or other events before, or for families of baseball players due to its proximity to the stadium, but no problems have occurred, he said.
Airbnb spokesperson Ben Breit confirmed the house was rented through the company. He said that the booker, who would have had to be 18 or older per Airbnb rules, has received a lifetime ban. Breit's statement says the party was thrown without the knowledge of the host, whose listing banned parties and advertised an overnight noise curfew.
Breit said Airbnb was cooperating with authorities: "We share the Pittsburgh community's outrage regarding this tragic gun violence. Our hearts go out to all who were impacted — including loved ones of those who lost their lives, injured victims and neighbors."
In the morning, Wilston found his wife's white car smeared with blood, possibly from someone fleeing the shooting and trying to hide behind the vehicle, he said.
"It's extremely, extremely disconcerting to see the way the bullets were fired were perpendicular to our house," he said, adding that he could see bullet holes in a surrounding building from his desk and in another building from another window.
Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey condemned the violence, which he attributed in part to a failure to get guns off the streets and provide adequate resources to communities. He said the city would call a meeting with local leaders to get feedback on a new, citywide approach to public safety.
"The time is now for us to move with a sense of urgency to bring justice to the victims and peace to our city," Gainey, who is in isolation because of a recent COVID-19 exposure, said in a statement.