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Entries in Pittsburgh (13)

Saturday
May042013

Pa. Doctor's Parents: 'She Could Not Have Harmed Herself'

Hemera/Thinkstock(PITTSBURGH) -- Investigators have not yet confirmed the cause of a death of a prominent Pennsylvania neurologist whose autopsy revealed she had "toxic levels of cyanide" in her system, but her parents spoke out against the possibility that their daughter's death was a suicide.

"We cannot imagine someone harming our daughter, but from what we're told, she could not have harmed herself," Dr. Autumn Marie Klein's parents, William and Lois Klein told ABC News in a prepared statement.

Klein, 41, collapsed at her home in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood and later died on April 20 at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, where she was chief of the division of women's neurology and an assistant professor of neurology, obstetrics and gynecology.

The FBI is working to assist the Pittsburgh police in the investigation, but said suicide has not been ruled out as Klein's cause of death.

While authorities said Klein's husband, Dr. Robert Ferrante, was not named a suspect in his wife's death, police executed a search warrant overnight to case the couple's home, which they shared with their six-year-old daughter, Cianna.

Investigators removed three vacuum cleaners and a computer tower and towed the couple's cars as neighbors still worked to process Klein's sudden death.

"We were stunned," Blithe Runsdorf told ABC's Good Morning America. "I mean she was young, she was vibrant, she has a young daughter. We were just stunned."

Klein worked at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. Her husband, Dr. Robert Ferrante, 64, is a professor of neurological surgery at University of Pittsburgh.

A private investigation into Klein's death has also been launched, with prominent forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht at its helm.

"I have been privately retained, but I'm not able to give you any more information. But I have been privately consulted in this matter," Cyril Wecht told ABC News when asked if he was retained by Dr. Robert Ferrante or his attorney.

Neither Ferrante nor his attorney responded to requests for comment.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb212013

Pittsburgh Shoe Shiner Has Donated $200K in Tips to Children’s Hospital Fund

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(PITTSBURGH) -- Every Tuesday and Thursday before the sun rises, Albert Lexie, 70, arrives at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh to begin his rounds.

But Lexie is not a doctor. For more than 30 years, the Monessen, Pa., native has spruced up the shoes of many loyal customers at Pittsburgh Children’s.

He’s a shoe shiner, who doesn’t keep his tips.

Every tip Lexie has ever received since he began shining shoes in 1981 has gone to the Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund, according to ABC News affiliate WTAE in Pittsburgh.  The fund goes toward the care of sick children whose parents cannot afford to pay for medical care.

“Shoe shines cost $5,” Lexie told ABCNews.com, “Say if they give me $6, I give a dollar to the Children’s Hospital.”

Over the years, his hard-earned tips have amounted to more than $200,000 for the free-care fund.

“I can raise more,” Lexie said.

Lexie started shining shoes in high school, when he saw other kids making shoe shining boxes: “So what I did was help to build one and put mine together.”

He said his passion for the fund began when he watched a TV anchorwoman he admired covering a Free Care Fund telethon.

“After watching the telethon and Jerry Lewis,” Dr. Joseph Carcillo, who is one of Lexie’s customers, told ABC News, “he wanted to have Albert’s kids, like ‘Jerry’s Kids.’”

Since then, more than one-third of Lexie’s income has gone to the fund, according to Carcillo.

Quite the entrepreneur, Lexie is always looking for ways to raise even more. “He has contests,” Carcillo explained. “If you gave the best tips, you get a bag of candy.”

Lexie recalled one of his biggest tips. “Around Christmas, I had a doctor give me $50.”

Despite the national attention and guest spots on Oprah, Lexie still remains humble, eating and breathing for the children, said Carcillo.

“He thinks only of others.  He’s a role model to us all,” Carcillo said. "He shows us that devotion to others, the joy of children and the joy of giving is greater than the day-to-day things that we think are important.”

In the three decades he’s worked at the hospital, Lexie has become a part of the institution. “Everyone knows Albert,” Carcillo said.

When he’s not pushing his purple shoe-shining cart the hospital gave him as a gift, Lexie said he enjoyed going to concerts and watching The Price Is Right.

Although Lexie is grateful for his hospital patrons, “I wouldn’t mind shining the governor’s shoes or the president’s shoes,” he said.

When asked if he had any hopes for the future, Lexie said, “I just hope the kids get well and do better and do different things."

“Then my life has ended well. I just love the kids.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug232012

Baby Abducted from Pittsburgh Hospital Found Alive

WTAE(PITTSBURGH) -- A 3-day-old infant who was abducted Thursday afternoon from the maternity ward of a Pittsburgh hospital has been found alive, a Pittsburgh Police Department spokeswoman said.

The baby was taken back to the hospital to be positively identified, police spokeswoman Diane Richard said. The infant's grandmother told ABC News that the baby has been positively identified.

A suspect, matching the description of the alleged kidnapper, is in police custody and being questioned. She has not been named.

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Baby Bryce Coleman was snatched Thursday afternoon moments after nurses removed a security tag from the infant as his family prepared for discharge from the hospital.

At 12:34 p.m. a nurse removed the baby's security tag in the presence of the child's mother in preparation for discharge, according to hospital officials.

"At 1:15, the father alerted the staff that the family was ready to depart and then it was determined that the baby was missing," the hospital said in a statement.

"Hospital staff immediately searched the unit and followed other internal security procedures. Police were called at 1:44 p.m.," the hospital said.

ABC News affiliate WTAE reported that the suspect was wearing hospital scrubs.

The station reported that woman matching the description of the suspect earlier Thursday entered a uniform store near the hospital and purchased UPMC scrubs. She told the clerk she was receiving training at the hospital that day, according to reports.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar142012

Gunman Who Shot Up Pittsburgh Clinic Had Mental Health Issues

Joseph Devenney/Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) -- John Shick had mental health issues of his own before he went on a shooting spree last week at a psychiatric clinic in Pittsburgh that left one person dead and six wounded, according to investigators.

Local authorities are still trying to figure out Shick's motivation and how he managed to walk into the most secure section of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh with firearms.

The gunman was slain by security guards in a shooting exchange that ended the 15-minute rampage.

As for his past, investigators learned that Shick became violent with police at Portland International Airport in Oregon two years ago, resulting in him being committed to a psychiatric facility for six months after kicking an officer in the head.

Officials at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic are not saying whether Shick, most recently a biology student at Duquesne University, was a patient there, although there are indications he had been treated at the clinic.

Duquesne University officials also revealed Shick was banned from the campus after a female student filed harassment charges against him.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Mar102012

Pittsburgh Police Identify Hospital Gunman, Try to Determine Motive 

Giorgio Fochesato/Vetta/Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) -- Pittsburgh police released the identity of the suspected gunman in a shooting that left two dead, including the shooter, and injured seven others at in the psychiatric clinic of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Pittsburgh Police Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki named John Shick, 30, of Pittsburgh, as the suspected gunman Friday, according to ABC affiliate WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh. Stangrecki said they have been unable to determine a motive.

Shick allegedly fatally shot two people, including their suspect, and injured seven others in the psychiatric clinic of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Police say the shooter walked in the front entrance of the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, located in the Oakland neighborhood, around 1:40 p.m. Thursday, armed with two semi-automatic handguns and wearing a tan colored trench coat. Evidence shows the shooter may have then tried to exit the facility unsuccessfully after entering a stairwell that lead to the parking garage.

Stangrecki said as the shooter returned to the first floor, he was met by University of Pittsburgh police officers entering the front doors. He engaged the officers in gunfire, and was fatally shot by police.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar092012

Pittsburgh Hospital Shooting Victim Was Second Gun Death in Family

WTAE(PITTSBURGH) -- The victim of the Pittsburgh hospital shooting was identified as employee Michael Schaab, a 25-year-old who lost his sister to gun violence in 2010.

"They're going through what no family should ever have to go through," Tom Fitzgerald, a spokesperson for the Schaab family, told ABC affiliate WTAE. "This is the second time within two years that they have to go through this, and it's very, very difficult on them."

Schaab's family saw the shooting at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic on the news, but thought he was safe since it took place on the first floor and he worked on an upper floor in the geriatric unit.

Michael's mother Mary Schaab lost her only other child, Nancy, who was the victim in a domestic dispute two years ago.

Michael Schaab was gearing up to start graduate school and was planning his March 2013 wedding while balancing his work at the clinic.

"It was clear that Michael was truly a leader among our staff, and he was beloved by the geriatric patients whom he cared for every day," Claudia Roth, CEO of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, said. "He will be greatly missed."

Police are still trying to identify the shooter who killed Schaab and wounded seven others before being killed by police.

The gunman, who was armed with two guns, was carrying no identification and his fingerprints did not match a federal database.

He proceeded to open fire on the first floor, wounding five staff members, Roth said.

A University of Pittsburgh police officer was also grazed in the leg.

The names of the wounded have not been released.

All five of the hospitalized victims are expected to survive, however two were listed in serious condition.

Jeffrey Romoff, CEO of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, praised the "work, professionalism and prompt response" of first responders.

"[We are] deeply, deeply saddened by today's events," he said. "I want to express our deepest sympathies to the victims."

Immediately after the shooting, SWAT teams from Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, the Port Authority and state police rushed to the scene, bringing along bomb-sniffing dogs.

The 289 patients in the hospital were not evacuated.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar092012

Armored Car Murder Suspect Stashes $24K at Grave Site

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(PITTSBURGH) -- Authorities have now recovered about $224,000, including some stashed at a grave site, that was apparently left behind by an armored car driver wanted for allegedly killing his colleague and taking off with $2.3 million.

Kenneth Konias Jr., 22, is suspected of fatally shooting his co-worker Michael Haines in the back of the head and leaving him in the Garda armored vehicle the two operated on Feb. 28 in Pittsburgh.  He is still at large.

Police said Konias' relatives found $24,000 stashed at his great-grandmother's grave site Wednesday and another $200,000 in his parent's home.  Konias reportedly called his mother after the heist and told her she should "go see grandma."

Konias and Haines worked for Garda Cash Logistics and were collecting cash from the Rivers Casino and a Home Depot.  Their abandoned armored truck was discovered by police underneath a bridge with blood dripping from its locked doors.  The body of Haines was found inside the truck and the money was gone.

Police said Konias called a friend after allegedly shooting Haines, saying he had enough money to live for the rest of their lives.

Authorities now believe finding the money gives investigators new insight into Konias and his abilities.

Garda Cash Logistics is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person responsible for Haines' killing and for the return of the remaining stolen funds. 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar082012

Gunman Opens Fire at Pittsburgh Psychiatric Institute

WTAE Pittsburgh(PITTSBURGH) -- A shooting at a Pittsburgh psychiatric clinic left two people dead, including the shooter, and several people injured. The identity of the second fatality was not immediately known.

Seven people were shot at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, the hospital reported. They were treated at the neighboring University Presbyterian Medical Center, which is affiliated with the clinic.

One of the wounded was a University of Pittsburgh police officer who was grazed in the leg, officials said.

A SWAT team was initially deployed to search the psychiatric hospital for a possible second gunman, however police later said there was only one gunman.

Police responded to a call at the clinic shortly after 2 p.m. The caller said one person was being held at gunpoint. That early report of a person held hostage has also been discounted.

Immediately after the shooting, SWAT teams from Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, the Port Authority and state police rushed to the scene bringing along bomb-sniffing dogs.

Evacuees were being taken to the Petersen Event Center.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar022012

Armored Car Murder Manhunt: Police Timeline Details Crime

iStockphoto/Thinkstock (file photo)(PITTSBURGH) -- After a Pittsburgh armored car driver allegedly killed his colleague and made off with $2.3 million, investigators are putting together a timeline of events to find the culprit, who is carrying three automatic weapons.

Police are asking people across the country to be on the lookout for 22-year-old Kenneth Konias Jr., who they are describing as a cold-blooded killer that shot his co-worker Michael Haines in the back of the head and left him in the back of the Garda armored vehicle the two operated.

"Our belief is that he planned to rob the company, and if he had to kill the guard he planned to do that," an officer said.

The two men worked for Garda Cash Logistics and were collecting cash from the Rivers Casino and a Home Depot in Pittsburgh.  Just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, Haines' body was found inside the cargo area of the Garda armored vehicle, with a gunshot wound to the back of the head, and more than $2 million missing.

Pouring over surveillance video, investigators have created a timeline showing at least five collection stops made by Haines and Konias before the shooting.

Surveillance video shows the truck speeding away from a service road behind a Home Depot at 12:55 p.m. Tuesday.  At 1:23 p.m., the armored vehicle was seen in a parking lot underneath a bridge.  Three minutes later, police say Konias ran to his 2002 Ford Explorer, and at sometime between 1:30 p.m. and 3:40 p.m. he returned to his home.

Police stumbled upon the abandoned armored car just before 4 p.m. and found blood dripping from its locked doors.

"He had at least a two-hour head start from the time he left work until the time Mr. Haines was discovered," Cmd. Tom Stangrecki of the Pittsburgh Police Department said.  "We're not sure if he's in the state."

Konias's father said that when he was home he discarded a bloodied uniform jacket, while police say that he took off with as many as three semi-automatic pistols, including one he allegedly took from Haines in the truck.

At some point, Konias made a phone call to a friend, which was outlined in the criminal complaint charging him with homicide and robbery.

"At the time of this conversation with Kenneth Konias, Konias made statements such as, 'I [expletive] up. My life is over,'" the criminal complaint stated.

After the friend asked Konias a series of questions probing what was wrong -- whether he was having a bad day at work or had gotten a girl pregnant -- the friend, who is identified as Witness #1 in the criminal complaint, said, "What, did you kill someone?"

After a few seconds of silence, Konias allegedly said "yes" and implored his friend to run away with him and live off the money from his heist.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar012012

Armored Car Guard Sought in Death of Co-Worker

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(PITTSBURGH) -- A fugitive armored truck employee, who allegedly killed his co-worker before running away with about $2.3 million, called a friend and admitted to the killing, police say.

Police have been searching for Kenneth Konias Jr., 22, since the Tuesday afternoon death of his co-worker, Michael Haines, 31.

"He had at least a two-hour head start from the time he left work until the time Mr. Haines was discovered," Cmd. Tom Stangrecki of the Pittsburgh Police Department said. "We're not sure if he's in the state."

The FBI is assisting the Pittsburgh Police Department in the search for Konias, Stangrecki said.

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The two men worked for Garda Cash Logistics and were collecting cash from the Rivers Casino and a Home Depot in Pittsburgh.

Slumped over with a gunshot wound to the back of the head, Haines' body was found in the idling armored truck two hours after police believe Konias shot him to death. At least $2.3 million was missing from the truck.

Garda, the company for which both men worked, is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person responsible for Haines' killing and for the return of the stolen funds.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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