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December 6, 2012

City police probing three shootings

NEW CASTLE — New Castle police are probing three gunfire reports from Tuesday, including a shooting that injured two people.

Another left bullet holes in a house on the city’s Lower East side, and gunshots also were reported on South Mercer Street.

A shooting on Pin Oak Drive just after 5 p.m. sent two males to the hospital. Police Chief Bobby Salem said officers are working on leads on the suspects.

 He said two men got out of a dark-colored car, believed to be a blue Lincoln Zephyr, around 5:10 p.m. and shot into a crowd of about 10 people at Crestview Gardens.

One bullet was removed from the left calf of a 25-year-old man. A 14-year-old boy who lives on Pin Oak Drive was hit in the right foot, also by a random bullet.

Salem said the shooters got back into the car and left.

Residents of the apartment complex told police they were going up their back stairs when they heard about 15 to 20 gunshots.

All three said they ran to their apartment windows and saw a man holding his leg and another male holding his foot.

At the hospital, the teen told police the men were shooting at him and he ran into a nearby apartment and closed the door.

Also Tuesday, around 12:10 a.m., police were called to the 200 block of North Crawford Avenue for gunfire.

Officers said they found 10 spent .40-caliber shell casings in the street, four bullet holes in the side of a house and four gouges in the ground. Six spent .380-caliber shell casings also were found on the street, along with one live .40-caliber round.

A resident told police she had heard cars stop in front of her house and was looking out the window when she saw a man get out of a dark blue sport utility vehicle and walk back toward a gold Chevy Caprice that had pulled up behind it.

She told police the man shot at the gold car, then both cars drove away.

The occupant of the house that was hit said she had been inside and heard the shots and the house being hit. No injures were reported.

Around 2 p.m. Tuesday, police were called to South Mercer and East Home streets for another report of gunfire and a man leaving in a red Ford Bronco.

Police stopped a similar vehicle on Moravia Street and arrested the driver, identified as Alex Benkosky, 21, of 831 S. Mercer St., who was wanted on three warrants from the Union Township police. He was turned over to Union Township police.

New Castle officers said they do not believe he was involved in the gunfire in the South Mercer Street area.

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