Man shot in Washington near two churches

March 5, 2014
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Katie Roupe / Observer-Reporter
Law enforcement officials attend to the scene of a shooting off Walnut Street Wednesday. One man was shot. Order a Print
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Kathie O. Warco / Observer-Reporter
A man was shot Wednesday night and collapsed near Franklin Professional Plaza in Washington. Order a Print

Washington police said a man was shot Wednesday night in a parking lot at West Walnut and Victoria streets and collapsed on a North Franklin Street sidewalk.

The victim, described as a black man in his 30s, was taken to Washington Hospital, where he was stabilized before he was flown to UPMC-Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh. There was no word on his identity or his condition late Wednesday.

City police Lt. Daniel Stanek said the man was shot several times. Police Chief Chris Luppino said it appears he was shot with a small-caliber weapon. A man wearing dark clothing was seen running away from the shooting scene. Police do not know in what direction the shooter fled, Stanek said.

“Some of the officers are canvassing the neighborhood to see if anyone saw anything,” Stanek said.

The shooting happened about the time Ash Wednesday Mass was concluding at Immaculate Conception Church. People also were inside First Lutheran Church.

Luppino said the victim ran from the parking lot south on North Franklin Street before collapsing on the sidewalk adjacent to Franklin Professional Plaza. The chief said it appears additional shots were fired in his direction as he ran. Two vehicles traveling on North Franklin were hit by bullets, but none of the occupants was injured.

Stanek said the state police forensic services unit will assist in mapping the scene. It appears that none of the vehicles parked in the lot was struck by bullets, although casings rolled under at least one vehicle.

“We will move these vehicles out of here carefully, so we can map exactly where they landed,” the lieutenant added.

Erica Santmyer was inside the Lutheran church attending a meeting.

“We didn’t hear the shots, but we saw the lights from the police car,” Santmyer said, standing outside the church. “He was already on the ground when we came outside. No one was around.”

Police from North Franklin and South Strabane townships assisted city police in securing the scenes.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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