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Hazelwood Man Wanted in Downtown Shooting

Argument at liquor store led to incident; second victim escaped injury

By Staff Reports
The Tube City Almanac
April 25, 2022
Posted in: Crime and Police News

An argument in a liquor store led to the gunfire on Friday afternoon that left a city man dying in a Downtown street, according to Allegheny County police.

At least five shots were fired, including one that struck a car two blocks away and forced the driver to flee for their life, a criminal complaint states.

County detectives have charged Vernon D. “Vern Loc” Eutsey, 25, of Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood neighborhood with criminal homicide, reckless endangerment, tampering with physical evidence and unlawful possession of a firearm in connection with the death of 22-year-old Michael Gunter of McKeesport.

Police allege that Eutsey shot Gunter in broad daylight on a busy street, and then fled the scene. Gunter died about an hour later at UPMC Mercy hospital, Pittsburgh.

County police have obtained a warrant for Eutsey’s arrest.

According to documents filed in Allegheny County night court, police allege that Eutsey and Gunter had an argument inside the state liquor store at the corner of Fifth and Market streets at around 1:30 p.m.

The men exited the store and continued arguing, police said. Then, police allege, the man they identified as Eutsey pulled out a handgun and shot Gunter.

Police said that as Gunter ran toward Lysle Boulevard, the man shot Gunter again, and Gunter collapsed in the intersection.

After the shooting, police said, Eutsey fled on foot in the direction of Strawberry Way. A silver Kia sedan with Florida license plates also fled the scene.

Police recovered a baseball cap, a sweatshirt and a 9-mm handgun believed to have been used in the shooting in a trash can on Sixth Avenue, according to the complaint.

A second victim told police they were preparing to leave a parking space on Fifth Avenue about two blocks away when they heard several shots. One of the shots went through the back window of their car and lodged in the car’s dashboard, according to police.

At 5 p.m., according to the complaint, White Oak police spotted a silver Kia sedan with Florida plates near the intersection of Route 48 and Lincoln Way, and detained the driver.

Police said the driver of the Kia told investigators they gave Eutsey a ride to the liquor store in McKeesport before the shooting.

According to the complaint, police obtained surveillance video from several locations and are using it in pursuit of their investigation.

Anyone with information concerning the incident, or Eutsey’s whereabouts, is asked to call the Allegheny County Police tipline at 1-833-ALL-TIPS (1-833-255-8477), said county police Sgt. Todd Dolfi. Callers can remain anonymous.  The department also may be reached via Facebook and Twitter, Dolfi said.

Originally published April 25, 2022.

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