With a total number of 30 homicides occurring thus far in 2014 in Allegheny County, 22 of them consisting of Black men and women, most of them under the age of 40 or even 30 for that matter, we are already on track to having a more deadlier year than 2013. This time last year, April 30, the county had 28 homicides, with again, 22 of them being Black lives.
The trend has become that as the temperature rises, so do the homicides. We need to put an end to it. Unfortunately, in April, we hit the double digits with 10 homicides. Some of the most horrific and senseless homicides took place this month.
For instance, a 24-year-old Black male was shot and killed while attending a birthday party at a school playground, where more than 100 people were in attendance. Then there was a 17-year-old male who was killed when a bullet went through his window and hit him in the chest. But what may be the most horrific killing of the year was when a 20-year-old female and her unborn child were shot and killed by her boyfriend, who later bragged about it on social media. How callous has our community become?
Recently, at the Pittsburgh Unit of the NAACP’s Human Rights Dinner, president Connie Park spoke about the importance of Waking Up and Taking Action. We, as a community need to Wake Up and Take Action. It’s time to put an end to the thinking of “because these senseless killings aren’t happening to my loved ones, I’m not affected. We are all affected. Because when it haves to one of us, it happens to us all.”
As part of an ongoing effort to heighten awareness about the effects of murder in Black communities, the New Pittsburgh Courier will compile a list of homicides in the County each month. It is our hope that as the list of victims grows, so will a true understanding of how these lost lives affect the mental health, economic well being and self-images of the region’s Black neighborhoods.
Out of the 30 murders, thus far, in 2014—22 were Black and 19 were Black men.
April Homicides (10)
APRIL 1—Luke Schlemmer, a 3-year-old White male from McCandless, died from drowning while taking a bath in his family’s home in the 9500 block of Saratoga Drive in McCandless. He was taken to UPMC Passavant; where he later died. Schlemmer reportedly was taking a bath with his 6-year-old brother, Daniel Schlemmer, when their mother sat on then to hold them under water after allegedly hearing voices in her head. Daniel Schlemmer also died. Laurel Michelle Schlemmer is charged with two counts of criminal homicide and a possibility of other crimes. She was found mentally incompetent to stand trial and was ordered to a state mental hospital until further review.
APRIL 5—Daniel Schlemmer, a 6-year-old White male from McCandless, died days after being held under the water while taking a bath in his family’s Saratoga Drive home in McCandless on April 1. He was taken to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC; where he had been on life support and later died. Luke Schlemmer also died. Schlemmer was taking a bath with his 3-year-old brother, Luke Schlemmer, when their mother allegedly sat on them to hold them under water after she allegedly heard voices in her head. Laurel Michelle Schlemmer is charged with two counts of criminal homicide and could possibly face other charges. She was found to be mentally incompetent to stand trial and was ordered to a state mental hospital until further review.
APRIL 10—Lee Williams, a 46-year-old Black male from Braddock, was fatally shot in the chest while visiting a friend’s apartment in the Hawkins Village housing complex in Rankin. It’s been reported that several men entered the apartment, attempting to rob the home and the individuals. No one has been charged; the investigation is ongoing.
Source: New Pittsburgh Courier | Ashley Johnson