Officer answered noise complaint before Pittsburgh shooting

Pittsburgh Party-Shooting
Pittsburgh Police crime scene investigators gather outside the short-term rental property, rear, where a shooting took place at a house party early Sunday morning, April 17, 2022.
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

An officer answered a noise complaint at a Pittsburgh house where a party was going on about an hour and a half before gunfire broke out at the gathering, police said Monday after the weekend shooting that left two 17-year-olds dead and at least eight other people wounded.

An officer went to the home at about 11 p.m. Saturday and asked for the homeowner, and a male came downstairs and met the officer at the door. He was asked to turn the music down and did so, police said in a statement.

“The officer told him if police were called back to the address again they would have to shut the party down,” the police statement said. “There were no further noise complaint or ordinance calls to the address. The call was cleared and no further report was needed.”

Police Chief Scott Schubert told reporters at noon Sunday that hundreds of people — the “vast majority” of them minors — had gathered at the short-term rental property. The police statement noted that “the habitable and visible part of the house where the party was held is on the second floor, out of view of the door.”

Shortly after 12:30 a.m. Sunday, some kind of altercation occurred and gunfire ensued both inside and outside the rental home, “and potentially back and forth,” Schubert said Sunday. Bullet casings found at the scene indicated handguns and one rifle were used, he said, and police believe there were multiple shooters.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office said Jaiden Brown and Mathew Steffy-Ross, both 17, were killed. Eight people were treated for gunshot wounds, and others were injured trying to escape, Schubert said, including two who broke bones after jumping from windows. One victim was injured after a car was “shot up,” Schubert said.

ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection and alert system, indicated more than 90 rounds were fired, and Schubert said “we know there was a lot more than that between inside the structure and outside.” Police were processing evidence at as many as eight separate crime scenes spanning a few blocks around the rental home. No arrests were immediately reported but Schubert said “it is our top priority to find out who did this and get them off the street.”

Airbnb spokesperson Ben Breit confirmed the house had been rented through the company and said the booker, who would have had to be 18 or older, has received a lifetime ban. Breit said Airbnb was cooperating with authorities.