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One Dead in Jenny Lind Shooting; City Man Charged With Homicide

By Staff Reports
The Tube City Almanac
October 14, 2017
Posted in: Crime and Police News

Updated Oct. 15 with victim's name and arrest details.

Updated Oct. 16 with bond and arraignment information.

Above: Damien L. Ashley. (Photo courtesy Allegheny County Police.)

A shooting Saturday afternoon in the 1600 block of Jenny Lind Street has left one man dead and another man hospitalized and facing charges.

Allegheny County police said the shooting stemmed from an argument between the two victims. McKeesport police were dispatched to the area at 1:20 p.m. and found two people suffering from gunshot wounds.

One victim was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. He was identified by the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office as Wyatt L. Gaza, 28, of Pittsburgh.

Minutes later, McKeesport police were called to UPMC McKeesport hospital where a man was reportedly being treated for gunshot wounds. County police said that man has been identified as Damien L. Ashley, 28, of McKeesport.

In a prepared release Sunday afternoon, Allegheny County detectives alleged that Ashley and Gaza were arguing and that they believe Ashley began shooting at Gaza, who returned fire. Police allege that Ashley fled after being shot and said he was driven to the hospital in a private vehicle.

Ashley was later flown to a Pittsburgh hospital's trauma center for treatment, police said.

According to court records, Ashley has been charged with homicide, unauthorized possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm without a license and tampering with evidence.

He was arraigned Monday and is currently being held without bond in the Allegheny County Jail pending a preliminary hearing at 11 a.m. Oct. 27 before Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey Manning.

County police said the investigation is continuing.

Court records indicate that Ashley has an arrest record in Allegheny County dating to 2007, including a 2008 arrest on charges of two counts of attempted homicide and one count of aggravated assault. That case was ultimately not prosecuted by the district attorney's office.

At the time of the shooting, according to a court docket, Ashley was free on $5,000 percentage bond after being arrested Sept. 16 by Pittsburgh police on charges of carrying a firearm without a license. He faced a preliminary hearing on those charges Oct. 19 in Pittsburgh Municipal Court.

Ashley also was charged Sept. 4 by McKeesport police with carrying a firearm without a license, simple assault, recklessly endangering other people, making terroristic threats and harassment.

He was released on his own recognizance Sept. 9 following an arraignment by Magisterial District Judge Robert Ravenstahl Jr., pending a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi in McKeesport.

Originally published October 14, 2017.

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