Pa. high school shooting probed
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh police were relieved that what was first reported as a possible shooting inside the city’s largest high school turned out to be a shooting outside the building that resulted in three students suffering relatively minor wounds. But investigators remained concerned that a drug-related feud may have fueled the violence and arrested a 16-year-old student they believed was responsible.
Neighbors heard seven or eight gunshots minutes after Brashear High School was letting out Wednesday afternoon, and police quickly determined the students were wounded as they approached a car parked down the street to drive home.
“Anytime you hear ‘school shooting’ like we did today it raises everybody’s awareness of a level to where it’s even higher,” Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said.
The misconception that shots were fired in the school resulted when one of the victims ran back toward the building after his head was grazed by a bullet and he was pulled inside by an administrator, police said.
“We have nothing to associate this shooting with any other kind of mass school shooting or anything like that,” major crimes Lt. Kevin Kraus said. “It just happened near the school.”
Kraus said 16-year-old Anjohnito Willett Jr. was waiting in nearby woods and shot the victims, also firing at a fourth student who wasn’t wounded. He was in police custody Wednesday night charged as an adult and awaiting arraignment, likely Thursday, on multiple counts of attempted homicide, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. He also was charged with illegally possessing a gun as a juvenile. It was not immediately known if he had an attorney.
Witnesses told police as many as three people were involved in the shooting, but Kraus said that was incorrect. One student was cutting through the woods on his way home. The other was a juvenile who was with Willett but didn’t participate in the shooting. Police don’t anticipate charging him.
The wounds of the victims, all boys, appeared to be non-life-threatening and all were in good or stable condition, police spokeswoman Diane Richard said.