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Archive for Sunday, January 27, 2002

Suspects in Pittsburgh shooting at-large

January 27, 2002

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— Two masked men walked into a sandwich shop and opened fire on a group of people, killing two men and a young girl, police said.

Witnesses said the gunmen appeared to be targeting a man in a wheelchair, Thomas Mitchell, 31, who died in the attack Friday.

Also killed were Parrish Freeman, 35, and his daughter Taylor Coles, 8.

The shooting occurred shortly after 7 p.m. in a neighborhood known for crime. Restaurant owner Tommy Washington said about 15 shots were fired and that the attack focused on Mitchell, who was a regular customer.

"Four shots were fired before I hit the floor," Washington said. "It took maybe a minute, but do you realize how long a minute can be?"

Mitchell was either a friend or relative of the family and was eating with them at the time of the shooting, police said. Witnesses said he had been paralyzed in another shooting in the mid-1990s.

Police said the girl's mother, whose identity was not released, was wounded and was hospitalized in serious condition Saturday.

A third man stood outside during the shooting, apparently as a lookout, police said. They were looking for three black males in their late teens or early 20s but had no suspects Saturday.

"There were three people involved, but there are a lot of conflicting stories right now," said Police Cmdr. Maurita Bryant.

"I hope the community will not let this go and will help us," Bryant added.

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