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BLOCK WATCH Neighbors say rash of summer shootings don’t define Marshall-Shadeland {BY REBECCA NUTTALL} broad strokes. Sure there’s crime, some say, Road in Marshall-Shadeland, one of the but it doesn’t mean the neighborhood is North Side’s two dozen neighborhoods. A unsafe. Others claim crime in the neighsmall business district runs along the street. borhood has increased in recent years, but There’s a bar, a pizza shop, a bank and a that development hasn’t caused business corner store. Two groups of adults are out- owners to flee. And either way, many agree side talking. One group surrounds a table it’s an improvement from the rampant in front of a barbershop and a few others gang violence in the North Side throughout the 1980s and ’90s. stand gathered in front of a specialty store. “The place has its problems,” says Dave The two groups are racially mixed, like the neighborhood. According to data from McCarthy, owner of Wise Guys Pizza. “I the most recent U.S. Census, the neighbor- generally feel safe. But we close at 10.” And Marshall-Shadeland residents’ hood’s racial makeup is split nearly down suggestions for how to address the the middle: 50 percent white and 43 violence there are just as varied. percent black. “The area is what the area Behind the business district verage is,” says McCarthy. “There’s not sits the Woods Run Branch of More co er of summ es one thing that’s going to fix it. the Carnegie Library of Pittsn homicid u g Maybe it’s low income. It could burgh, and behind that is a . w w w at aper be drugs. It could be the lack of playground where two men pghcityp homeownership.” are taking turns going down .com Another individual who the slide with young children. works in the neighborhood and But this area of the North Side asked to be referred to by his first isn’t as idyllic as it seems. Recently, four of the businesses on Brighton Road were name, Tyrone, says the recent shootings robbed within the same week. And the in the neighborhood are the result of playground behind the library is allegedly a open gun access. “When you have a weapon, it increases hotspot for drug activity. Twenty-two-year-old Stephen Flaherty your aggression level. No one’s addressing is on his way home from the corner store. A the weapons,” Tyrone says. “Our young few weeks ago he was shot multiple times. men are being pulled over every day with Lifting up his shirt he shows off his scars: stolen guns. Where’s a 16-year-old getting one just below his rib cage, what looks like a an M-16 with two banana clips?” Barber Eddie Bell, owner of Steel City recent incision running down his sternum, and a bullet still in his body just under- Cutz, says he thought the neighborhood was safe when he opened his business on neath the skin by his hipbone. “I think it’s a safe neighborhood,” says Brighton Road six years ago. But three years ago a shot was fired through one of the Flaherty. “I’ve lived here all my life.” Flaherty’s refrain is somewhat common windows of his barbershop, and since then in the neighborhood despite the fact that so things haven’t improved. “It’s crazy out here,” Bell says. “It’s been far this summer, Marshall-Shadeland has seen four people injured in three shootings a bad summer.” Bell says the neighborhood would see and one person killed. Two of the shootings happened within two days of each other. a decline in crime and violence if residents Twenty-two-year-old Christian Rash has were willing to cooperate with law enforcebeen charged in connection with those ment when they have information about shootings, which police allege began after an incident. “If I see it I’m telling, but everybody isn’t an altercation between Rash’s girlfriend and a family member of one of the victims. like that,” Bell says. “That’s the only way it’s The third shooting occurred eight days lat- going to be fixed.” But another local, who spoke with er, on July 25, days after City Paper walked through the neighborhood talking to resi- CP on the condition of anonymity, said he dents. Police say Lamar Thomas was found understands why residents tend not to dead with a gunshot wound to the head in come forward with information. “Say you see something and you go to his Stayton Street barbershop. The shooting remains under investigation; police haven’t the police and then the next day it’s your kid lying on the sidewalk,” he says. “People reported a motive. But these numbers mean nothing to are scared. “There’s a lot of knuckleheads. But many local residents, who use a diverse palette to describe the neighborhood in there’s a lot of good people here.”

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER 07.29/08.05.2015


Profile for Pittsburgh City Paper

July 29, 2015  

Pittsburgh City Paper Volume 25 Issue 30

July 29, 2015  

Pittsburgh City Paper Volume 25 Issue 30