New Castle News

November 20, 2013

Police look at related shootings

Debbie Wachter
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Two separate shootings in Ellwood City may be linked to the same man

Ellwood City police have charged Leon Platt, 26, of 474 Oregon Ave., Beaver County, in connection with a 1 a.m. shooting in the 1200 block of Lawrence Avenue.

Police say the shooting is separate but could be related to the death of Richard Hogue, 28, of Enon Valley, who was shot at Walnut Ridge housing complex on Loop Street around 1:45 a.m. Saturday.

No one has been charged yet in connection with Hogue’s death.

Police said a woman in the Lawrence Avenue area said bullets were fired through the front window of her apartment — where she and her husband were sitting — about 1 a.m. Saturday. Officers collected 9 mm and .45-caliber casings from the area. Part of a bullet was removed from inside the apartment, according to reports.

Police said Platt told them he was with a 17-year-old female, Hogue and another man near a tavern when the other man handed him a .45-caliber gun.

He said the female, who had a 9 mm gun, got out of the car they were in, then she unloaded it at another car. Police said Platt said he shot seven rounds at the vehicle but hit it only once. The gunfire also hit another car and a couple of the bullets went through an apartment window, he told police.

Platt arraigned before District Judge Jerry G. Cartwright on charges of aggravated assault, discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure, recklessly endangering another person and criminal mischief. He was lodged in the Lawrence County jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.

District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa said yesterday that authorities are unable to provide any details right now regarding Hogue’s death due to the other investigation.