Eight people were shot—five fatally, including a pregnant woman—in a shooting at a backyard cookout in Wilkinsburg, Pennslyvania, on Wednesday night. According to the Associated Press, the medical examiner ruled the death of the fetus a homicide on Thursday, bringing the number of those killed to six.
Authorities believe there were two gunmen, targeting one or two of the victims. Three men and one woman were found dead on the back porch, NBC News reports, and one woman was pronounced dead at a hospital. Two men were described as being in critical condition, and a woman who had been wounded was released from the hospital.
“It looks like, right now, they were all fleeing toward the back door of the residence when the second gunman fired from the side of the yard, and they all seemed to get caught on the back porch,” Allegheny County police Lt. Andrew Schurman said at a press conference.
“The murders were planned. They were calculated, brutal,” District Attorney Stephen Zappala said. From the AP:
Four women, one of them eight months’ pregnant, and a man were killed as they rushed toward the back porch to seek cover as a gunman fired a .40-caliber pistol at as many as 15 adults who were playing cards and having a late-night cookout.
That steered the victims toward the rear porch and door of the house, where an accomplice armed with a 7.62 mm rifle similar to an AK-47 shot them from behind a chain-link fence less than 10 feet from the porch, Zappala said.
Neither weapon has been found.
The man with the rifle aimed high throughout the barrage of bullets. Four of the dead were found on the tiny back porch.
“They were all head shots,” Zappala said.
Three of those killed were siblings: Brittany Powell, 27, whose home was the site of the shooting; Jerry Shelton, 35; and the pregnant Chanetta Powell, 25. “My whole family was massacred,” their mother, Jessica Shelton, said. Also killed were Tina Shelton, 37, and Shada Mahone, 26.
Wilkinsburg, a poorer suburb of Pittsburgh, has a reputation for drug trafficking and violence, but locals said that this particular neighborhood was usually quiet. The gunmen are still at large, and police have not determined a motive.