Shootings leave one dead, three injured
One person is dead from one of two shootings early Saturday morning in Indiana Borough, police said. Both suspects in the shootings are in custody.
Indiana Borough Police Chief William Sutton told reporters Carlos Eduardo Recalde-Campos, 21, of Indiana, succumbed to his injuries after being shot with a stolen .40-caliber pistol wielded by Matthew T. McNevin, 20, of Indiana, at about 1:39 a.m. Police said Samantha Riley was also hit by a bullet during the shooting at 1128 Oakland Ave. She was in critical condition as of Saturday afternoon after being transported to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown.
Recalde-Campos was transported to Indiana Regional Medical Center in a police cruiser and given surgical treatment before being flown to UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh, Sutton said. Police said in court filings they were notified at 6:08 a.m. today that Recalde-Campos had died.
Sutton said both victims suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the torso.
Further investigation in to the incident revealed that Recalde-Campos was involved in a theft against McNevin last week, Sutton said. McNevin then sought out Recalde-Campos Saturday morning and the two engaged in a physical altercation. After that, McNevin produced the stolen pistol and again confronted Recalde-Campos, shooting him and the female bystander in the torso.
According to court papers, one witness told police she heard McNevin say “I’m going to kill him” before racking the slide on the gun and firing onto a front porch. Another victim said McNevin fired into Recalde-Campos’ back while he was standing in a crowd of people.
The gun, a .40-caliber Taurus, was found by borough police on the property behind the residence. Police said the gun appeared to have blood on it.
McNevin fled the scene and was apprehended at 658 Bethel Church Road in Marion Center at 5:20 a.m. without incident.
McNevin faces charges of criminal homicide, attempted criminal homicide, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, carrying a firearm without a license and receiving stolen property.
In another, unrelated earlier shooting at the intersection of 12th and Philadelphia streets, police said Thomas M. Stanko, 21, of Fort Campbell, Ky., shot Julian Cole, of Pittsburgh, in the forearm and another unidentified 23-year-old Erie man in the leg and foot.
Police were called to the scene at 12:53 a.m. and said they found Stanko with a pistol and took him into custody. Stanko said he was walking with Cole, his cousin, when they got into a confrontation with three other people whom he didn’t know, according to court papers. Stanko said he produced the pistol from his jacket pocket and fired two warning shots, then two or three more rounds at the other men.
The second victim was found on a nearby porch a short time after officers arrived. Police didn’t identify him.
Stanko was charged with attempted criminal homicide, two counts of aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person.
McNevin and Stanko were both arraigned this morning by District Judge Susanne Steffee. McNevin was jailed on a non-bailable offense. Stanko was jailed on $200,000 bail.
Both have preliminary hearings scheduled for April 10.
District Attorney Patrick Dougherty said a possible third shooting was investigated by state police and Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus police at The Verge apartments in White Township at about 2:15 a.m. No injuries were reported.
The incidents come amidst the weekend of IUPatty’s, the unsanctioned, grassroots party weekend that police departments, municipalities, IUP and emergency responders prepare extensively for. The weekend typically draws many people from out of town, according to officials.
Speaking at a press conference Saturday afternoon in the borough council chambers, Dougherty said it had been a stressful weekend for law enforcement and emergency medical providers.
“When we have these type of events in our community, with large influx of people from outside of our communities, and there’s guns introduced, it strains the entire public safety service network,” he said, referring to the delay of the ambulance to get to the scene of the second shooting along Oakland Avenue.
He said the events impacted the entire community.
“Families raise their children in this community and they want it to be safe,” Dougherty said. “Parents send their kids to this university, they want it to be safe. And 99 percent of the time it is. But when people introduce guns into our community, these are the horrific and tragic results.”
Dougherty said it wasn’t a second amendment issue, and pointed out that McNevin was a young man in possession of a stolen gun and didn’t have a license.
Responding to reporters’ questions, Dougherty said it would be preferable if people stayed home instead of coming to Indiana to party.
“Indiana is a great place for a multitude of reasons,” he said. “We don’t want you to come here for this weekend.”
Dougherty said leading up to the shootings, it had been a relatively uneventful night and that most people were being cooperative with law enforcement officers.
Indiana Borough Councilman Don Lancaster said that while there was a lot partying, most of the people were behaving appropriately.
Lancaster and Mayor George Hood were chatting after the Saturday press conference.
“It’s sad,” Lancaster said about the shootings. “We’re talking about all the good stuff that we have happen in our community, and then something like this just sets that back. Because overall, this is a fantastic little community.
He said police overall were doing a good job keeping track of events during the weekend.
“You can’t plan for these isolated incidents. You just can’t. The police are monitoring social media, they’re following everything, and they stay pretty much on top of it.”
“This time it was not IUP students,” Hood said. “Most of the time it’s not IUP. Sometimes it is. Ninety-nine percent of IUP is right in line. It’s that 1 percent.”
At the time of the shootings, IUP used its emergency notification system to tell students and registered users to take cover as the shootings were reported. Another notification was sent out to let users know the suspects were apprehended, according to Michelle Fryling, university spokeswoman.
Fryling said by phone Saturday it was too early to tell if it was a busier weekend than last year’s IUPatty’s.
She said she appreciated that Dougherty and Sutton said most people were complying with law enforcement. This morning Fryling said she will be speaking to other members of IACT, or the Indiana Area Collaborative Team, which is comprised of representatives from IUP, law enforcement, landlords and other community organizations.