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A nearly five-month investigation by Allegheny County detectives led to charges being filed this week in connection with the April shooting death of a McKeesport woman.
Gerald Lamar Walker, 37, of Penn Hills is being held in the Allegheny County Jail without bond on charges of criminal homicide, unlawful possession of a firearm and carrying a firearm without a license.
Walker is charged in connection with the April 26 shooting death of Amber Rose Dolby, 38, also known as Amber Bailey. Walker was arraigned Monday and faces a preliminary hearing Oct. 16 before Magisterial District Judge Kim Berkeley Clark.
Dolby was discovered on Rogena Street near Riverview Avenue at 5:30 a.m. April 26 after a caller to 9-1-1 reported seeing a woman lying in the intersection. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
An autopsy report indicated that Dolby died of a single gunshot wound to the head.
According to a criminal complaint, Walker was identified as a person of interest soon after Dolby’s death. But it wasn’t until last week, according to the complaint, that detectives matched markings on a 9-mm shell casing found near the crime scene to similar shell casings found in the backyard of a home in West Deer Township.
Allegheny County police allege that Walker had access to the 9-mm handgun that fired the shots in both cases.
The gun has not been located and may have been stolen in a burglary this summer, according to the criminal complaint.
According to the complaint, police allege that shortly before Dolby’s body was found, she was recorded by surveillance cameras in the parking lot of a convenience store on Lysle Boulevard.
Police said a blue compact car was observed entering the parking lot, a door was heard opening and closing, and the car was seen driving away a short time later, apparently with Dolby as a passenger.
Using footage from license-plate cameras, police traced the car to White Oak, where they interviewed its owner, who had formerly been in a romantic relationship with Walker. The car’s owner told police that Walker had access to the car.
Police interviewed Walker in April but he was uncooperative, detectives said in a complaint. During the interview, police said they recovered a small amount of cocaine from Walker’s pants pocket and he was charged with possession of controlled substances.
After obtaining a search warrant for Walker’s cell phone, police recovered a selfie of Walker posing in a mirror with a handgun.
According to police, although Walker admitted to firing a handgun on the day of Dolby’s death, he said he had been at a shooting range. Upon further questioning, police said, Walker could not remember the name of the shooting range and would not identify who he was with.
Police said Walker admitted to selling Dolby a rock of crack cocaine on the morning of her death, and said he gave her a ride to the area of Riverview Avenue, but denied having any connection to her murder.
Police believe the handgun used in Dolby’s killing belonged to a third person with whom Walker sometimes stayed in McKeesport. The handgun was reportedly stolen in Baltimore after Dolby’s death.
Police said the owner of the handgun was taught how to use it in February on the West Deer property. According to the complaint, 20 shell casings were recovered from that scene. Markings on six of the casings matched the shell casing found near Dolby’s body, police said.
Court records indicate that at the time of his April arrest, Walker was on probation for a previous drug arrest. According to court files, in 2019, Walker pleaded guilty to drug possession charges filed by McKeesport and White Oak police and was sentenced to 11 months in jail and two years’ probation.
Originally published September 25, 2020.