Allen Kreitzman and his 9-year-old son were playing video games when they heard four gunshots.
It was around midnight Thursday, and Kreitzman went out of his house at 729 Pearl St. to find his tenant, Debra Kerr, and her boyfriend, Ronald Syler — whom he calls “Rondo” — lying in his front yard, bleeding from gunshot wounds.
Kerr, 39, had been shot in the side, Kreitzman said. Syler, whose age was unknown, appeared to have been shot in the stomach, he added.
Someone yelled to call the police, and he called 911.
Kerr had moved into Kreitzman’s two-story, Lower East Side home a few weeks ago from Pittsburgh, after she had a fight with her boyfriend. The two made up, Kreitzman explained, and Syler, also a Pittsburgher, moved into the home as well. Kreitzman referred to them his roommates.
Kerr was flown to St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, according to New Castle Police Chief Bobby Salem. Police have not released where Syler is hospitalized.
According to reports, a neighbor on Forest Street said the couple had just returned from a local tavern.
Syler, who was conscious, told police he and Kerr were standing in front of 614 Forrest St. when two men approached them and demanded money. They got into an argument and one of the men shot both Syler and Kerr. The men then ran toward Oak Street, according to city police reports.
Police interviewed the owner of the tavern where Syler and Kerr had been drinking and were told that the couple had been in there prior to the shooting but had kept to themselves and had not spoken to or argued with anyone inside.
Police investigating at the scene yesterday found a blood trail from the sidewalk on the west side of Forest Street to the intersection and up the outside stairs of 729 Pearl.
Salem said the incident appears to have been a robbery, but the police are not yet clear on a motive for the shooting. Nor do they have any suspects.
Kreitzman said he learned from a neighbor that the men were heard running down the nearby alleyway.
Salem said investigators were interviewing the gunshot victims yesterday afternoon.
Kreitzman said he was upstairs and “all of a sudden I heard a pop, pop, pop, pop. I’m from New York, and I know what a gun sounds like.”
When he saw what had happened, he told his son to go back upstairs.
Salem said the police still do not know the type of gun that was used, but no shell casings were found in the area.
“We don’t know if it was a revolver or if they picked up the shell casings,” he said.
Kreitzman said he talked to Kerr’s mother yesterday and told her what had happened. He said he once had lived with Kerr in New Wilmington.
He has been in his Pearl Street house for about eight years, he said. He let Debbie move in about three weeks ago.
“I thought I was helping them out,” he said, “but now I don’t know.”