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Fight over drugs may be at root of Pittsburgh high school shooting

November 13, 2013|By Michael Muskal and Matt Pearce
  • Emergency workers respond to a shooting near Brashear High School in Pittsburgh. Police say three people were shot.
Emergency workers respond to a shooting near Brashear High School in Pittsburgh.… (KDKA-TV / Associated Press )

Three teenagers were injured in a shooting after they left their Pittsburgh high school Wednesday afternoon, and authorities say they are questioning six people in connection with the incident.

The shooting may be tied to a drug-related fight at the school last month, police spokeswoman Diane Richard told reporters. The fight had led to a lockdown of the 1,400-student campus, she said.

The shooting took place around 3 p.m. outside Brashear High School. Officials said as many as three gunmen were involved and that they fled through the nearby woods.

Hours later, television footage showed SWAT officers leading at least four handcuffed people away. 

“We are questioning six people of interest right now,” Acting Police Chief Regina McDonald told reporters at a televised news conference. She said police had yet to determine whether charges would be filed.

No other suspects are being sought in connection with the shooting, she said.

Officials said the shooting took place outside the school, which was immediately locked down. The students were leaving the building when the assailants confronted the group, police told reporters.

All three of the injured students were taken to hospitals, where officials described their conditions as good or fair.

One student was grazed in the head, another grazed in the neck and shoulder, and the third student was shot in the foot and arm, Richard told reporters.

None of the victims were cooperating with police, she said.

"We do have some leads on the actor or actors," Richard said.

Richard refused to say whether Wednesday’s shooting was a retaliation attack. She said the previous fight  “may have been drug-related.”

She did not give additional details.

Cody Muller, 18, who said he was a senior at Brashear, told the Los Angeles Times in a telephone interview that he heard three or four gunshots as he was leaving school.

He said he spotted a gym teacher about to wrap her hoodie around a wounded 11th-grade student who was bleeding from the head on the road outside the school.

“As she was pressing it on his head, all I saw was blood running down the side of his head. It was all over the hoodie -- it was on the ground,” Muller said. “They were asking him questions. He wasn’t aware that he was shot. He was like, did I fall? Why am I all bloody? The teachers told him, 'You just fell and got hurt,' so he wouldn’t freak out.”


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