I do not accept this.


Two people — a man and a woman — were in custody after someone opened fire near a busy Downtown intersection this afternoon.

Middle of a Friday afternoon. Fifth and Wood. FIFTH AND WOOD. Busy busy intersection and you’re going to pull out a gun and fire it with innocent bystanders around, probably over drugs or a girl?

Police said two men who knew each other had a confrontation near Fifth Avenue and Wood Street, and one man began pistol-whipping the other in the face around 3:05 p.m. The second man pulled out his own gun and fired at his assailant.

I reject this.

I refuse to accept it.

I walk that intersection too often, sometimes with my children. I do not need this fear in my head. I don’t need this knowledge that there are actually people who find it acceptable to do this kind of thing. That have that little regard for life.

I need my blissful ignorance. My fingers in my ears. My PittGirl Cult of Personality Rose-Colored glasses on my face.

You want to be violent? Then go find a nice field somewhere, take ten steps, turn around and blow each others’ brains to high heaven. I’ll even find you the field. I’ll bring the body bags. I’ll count to ten for you. I’ll pray your aim is true.

Just get the hell out of our city.

Now, all the seriousness and rage out of the way, I have to tell you, I always have an internal chuckle at the phrase “pistol-whipping.”

It’s like “Buttafuoco” in that respect.


  1. Andy
    October 29, 2010 5:20 pm

    I was first on scene of a shooting a number of years ago. I happened to be walking through Market Square and heard the “crack-crack”. I saw everyone leaving and of course I went against the flow.
    Darted through the alley between the Y and the Oyster house and up the street a little to the CVS store where I found that the wrong twin had been shot in the leg over a girl.
    “It hurts! he exclaimed” to which I replied “yes, it’s going to hurt, you were just shot!”

    Oh such fun downtown times…..

  2. gunnlino
    October 29, 2010 5:42 pm

    Ah, welcome to reality. It’s sad that I have to inform you that the people that carry guns as a regular way of life care not about you or your loved ones. they care only about their “respect” in the community. If you get in the way then it’s your fault that you were there at that time and place and you should know better.

  3. DG
    October 29, 2010 8:59 pm

    I was at this intersection 2 hours before this happened. I join your horror.

  4. Shane
    October 29, 2010 9:40 pm

    My wife and I were walking up 5th from 5th Ave Place to Macy’s when this happened. We heard the shot and it didn’t sound any different from a care backfiring. My wife said something to the effect that it must not have been a gun shot cause no one was screaming and we just kept walking… Guess we’re just jaded.

  5. Jen M
    October 30, 2010 10:34 am

    I was 4 feet away from these guys when this happened and ducked into the nail salon to call police. It rocked me so badly, I couldn’t function for the rest of the day. I didn’t know they caught the people and so I kept convincing myself that they knew it was me who called and that I was going to get shot for being a snitch. Thank you for writing this. I’m glad someone is as freaking OUTRAGED by this as I was.

  6. Sue
    October 30, 2010 10:35 am

    My husband works in an office building at Fitfth and Wood – he has called me on his cell at least three times in the last year while walking to his car after work to tell me that he just passed someone waving a gun around. It is terrifying to me – and I do think twice about bringing my kids into downtown. Its bad enough that Daddy has to deal with that going to and from work. I can’t imagine how scared they would be to see real life bad guys and think about Daddy working right there.

  7. Jen M
    October 30, 2010 10:40 am

    P.S. To further add to your outrage, there was a female security guard in the nail salon when I ducked in, and she said I was overreacting by calling the cops and that I should just leave people to their own business.

  8. bucdaddy
    October 30, 2010 10:42 am


    Heh, I could never see that without thinking that the guy surely had to endure being called “Joey Butt” or “Joey Butt-a-face” through 12 years of schooling (if he made it that far), Every. Damn. Day.

    Explains a lot.

    I’m not proud of this now, but I went through a year of school with a girl whose last name was Butt. She was a pretty girl, nice enough as far as I could tell, but I never made a move because in my junior high mindset, I could only envision the sh*t you’d take from the other kids if you had a Butt as your girlfriend.

    You’d be the butt of too many terrible junior high jokes.*

    *–You should have known that was coming.

  9. bucdaddy
    October 30, 2010 10:46 am

    Oh, and as for the idiocy dahntahn, the Right would say the way to solve this is for everybody to be armed. Somehow that discussion never gets expanded to the legal consequences involved for even an upright citizen who would take down a guy waving a gun around or using it in a public square. You’d have to lawyer up for quite awhile, I imagine.

    Why I’m ambivalent about gun control. It seems like a good idea, until some dissed moron is pointing a gun at you. Or your kids.

  10. johnaz6312
    October 30, 2010 10:48 am

    Crime is much more of an issue out here in Phoenix. Our gun laws are alot more liberal out here. Do you know that thanks to our governor you can now walk into a bar with a loaded weapon….unless the establishment has a sign out in the front window that states no guns are allowed. Personally I think its a crazy law. Suprisingly enough people have been using restraint and they are sticking to the streets and private homes to shoot each other. Welcome to the Wild West!

  11. Gkelley
    October 30, 2010 11:57 am

    Jen, We need more people to stand up for what is right. The security guard is one of the reasons our city is so bad. Good for you!

    @bucdaddy, my daughter’s last name is Dick. Need I say more???

  12. bucdaddy
    October 30, 2010 12:06 pm

    Gkelley, I used to work with a women whose last name was Jock. She once told me she hated her name, and she decided when she married it would be to someone with a joke-immune name.

    She married a man named Smelley. True story.

    Down here in West by-God, you need (iirc) a permit to carry a CONCEALED weapon, but if you’re walking around with a holster on where everyone can see your six-guns, that’s perfectly legal. Start waving them around improperly, though, and that’s called brandishing.

    I’ve never seen anyone in my town openly carrying a gun, however.

  13. bucdaddy
    October 30, 2010 12:07 pm

    *–woman, there was only one.

  14. Noelle
    October 30, 2010 1:04 pm

    @bucdaddy: my mom went to elementary school in the 1950s with a guy named Dick Weiner.

  15. LaReina
    October 30, 2010 1:33 pm

    The buck stops with Lukey.
    Good luck with all that.

  16. Molly
    October 30, 2010 1:50 pm

    I go to school like, 3 blocks away and often walk past this on my way to make rite aid trips.
    scary stuff.

  17. bucdaddy
    October 30, 2010 11:28 pm

    Point Park, Molly?

  18. BeauJacques
    October 31, 2010 12:39 am

    Get the permit.

    Practice frequently at a range.

    Stay armed!

    When, not if, the next idiot-felon starts a spree, drop him!

  19. spoon
    October 31, 2010 7:16 am

    I carry a 9 3/8in bayonet in my pants.

  20. YinzerInExile
    October 31, 2010 8:57 am

    I get being outraged, and I certainly hope that security guard gets canned, but I just can’t see allowing stuff like this to affect the way I go about my daily life. In the grand scheme of things, Pittsburgh is a LOT safer than many, many other cities, and a couple of anecdotal fruitcakes do not get to hold sway over my comings and goings. And being terrified about it is just a waste of time.

  21. BeauJacques
    October 31, 2010 9:14 am



    That’s why a Glock 40 loaded with Hydra Shok hollow-points provides wonderful personal security.


  22. NullRegister
    October 31, 2010 11:28 am

    It was probably caught on camera. There is a security mini-dome in front of the Capital Grille. I think – see the downward U-shaped, white “lamp” above the lion in this picture… http://bit.ly/cCeUkx PNC probably has a couple security cams aimed at their plaza too.

  23. Karen S.
    October 31, 2010 1:26 pm

    BeauJacques, I sincerely disagree with you. Your brand of vigilante justice won’t prevent incidents like this, just make it worse when it does. I certainly wouldn’t want to be around when you start playing judge and jury.

  24. bucdaddy
    October 31, 2010 2:12 pm

    spoon Says:
    October 31st, 2010 at 7:16 am
    I carry a 9 3/8in bayonet in my pants.

    That’s what I call mine too! And sometimes “Mr. Slinky.”

  25. Scott
    October 31, 2010 3:33 pm


    Yes, of course like everything else in the Pittsburgh area, it must all be the mayor’s fault.

    Get a clue.

  26. spoon
    October 31, 2010 3:52 pm

    @bucdaddy hheeyyyyyyooooo

  27. Angry Mongo
    November 1, 2010 7:54 am

    @johnaz6312 Do the bars have saloon doors on them and a piano player in the corner?

    Cuz, that would be cool, then.

  28. Lauren
    November 1, 2010 10:22 am

    Gun control laws don’t really impact people that are going to use them to commit crimes, at least in my opinion. I always figured that people that want to break laws by murdering/assaulting, etc, the law that they can’t have a gun won’t bother them.

    @johnaz6312 In Tucson, things seem to be a bit more civilized. Haven’t heard any issues with the guns in bars law, however I do share your sentiment–there is a limit to where you should take a gun, and into a bar where you are actively drinking crosses it for me. Then again, you kinda know what you’re getting when you choose to live there, Arizona culture hasn’t changed all that much in the last century or so : )

  29. CC
    November 1, 2010 11:31 am

    I have worked downtown for well over twenty years and have never felt unsafe at anytime nor have I ever witnessed violence of any kind. While this incident is unacceptable I think folks are overreacting. You see what overreaction gets you in politics…the Tea Party. Overreaction here will just get you a more desolate downtown shopping district.

  30. Elle C.
    November 1, 2010 11:57 am

    I work downtown and Wood Street has gotten so sketchy – to the point where I refuse to even walk down it any more.

    “That have little regard for life.” My sentiments exactly. I was playing softball for a league in a North Side neighborhood this summer when a 13-year old boy open fired on a group of children the same age as him right next to the game. Scariest day of my life. WHAT IN THE WORLD DOES A 13-YEAR OLD HAVE TO SHOOT ANOTHER CHILD ABOUT?! It’s terrifying that this “little regard for life” is so prevalent, and even at a young age. Awful.

  31. sleepgh
    November 1, 2010 1:28 pm

    Have you seen this? http://livingfor32.com/trailer.html it’s done by Colin Goddard, a victim of the Va. Tech shootings. He was able to VERY EASILY purchase guns in a number of situations, even with state laws in place. Scary.

  32. Al Lambrini
    November 1, 2010 2:48 pm

    What they put an LA Fitness on Wood Street?

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