Five family members, fetus killed by gunmen during backyard party near Pittsburgh

By Amy R. Connolly and Doug G. Ware  |  Updated March 10, 2016 at 8:16 PM
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WILKINSBURG, Pa., March 10 (UPI) -- Pennsylvania authorities are looking for two gunmen they believe stalked five adults at a home near downtown Pittsburgh Wednesday night and shot them to death -- along with a fetus carried by one of the female victims.

Investigators said eight relatives were attending a backyard cookout when the suspects abruptly arrived at the party and began firing. Officials said it appears the attack was a premeditated "ambush-style" assault.

Five people, all of whom were related, were killed and three others were seriously wounded.

Allegheny County Police said evidence indicates one gunman fired from an alley behind the residence, and another from the side or backyard of an adjacent home. The shooting began just before 11 p.m. local time Wednesday in Wilkinsburg, which is located seven miles east of Pittsburgh.

Four people -- three women and one man -- died at the scene and the fifth, another woman, died later at the hospital. One of the female victims was eight months pregnant, police said, with the fetus raising the death toll to six.

Investigators said two types of shell casings were found at the scene -- some that housed .40 caliber ammunition and some that housed assault-style 7.62 millimeter bullets.

Two men were in critical condition and a woman was in stable condition, police said. The suspected gunman are still at large.

"My whole family was massacred. Why didn't these three guys get hurt? And they also attended the cookout," Jessica Shelton, who had two daughters and a son killed in the shooting, said Thursday. "I'm just heartbroken. Today, I've got a son who's fighting for his life in critical condition."

The other two adults killed were cousins to the others, Shelton said.

Police said no one is in custody and a motive is not clear.

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