Steele responds to Blawnox shooting

Urges community strength and unity in wake of incident

BLAWNOX, March 20 – As Blawnox Borough recovers from the aftermath of yesterday’s deadly shooting at Tri-Arc Manufacturing Co., which claimed the life of Allegheny County resident Courtney Smith, state Rep. Mandy Steele, D-Allegheny, expressed her deep sorrow over the incident.

“My heart is heavy as I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of Courtney Smith, who tragically lost her life in this senseless act of gun violence, and Daniel Zoelle as he recovers,” Steele said. “I want to express my sincerest gratitude to the brave officers at Blawnox Borough Police and O’Hara Township Police departments for their quick response and apprehension of the alleged shooter, which undoubtedly prevented further harm. It is my hope that the families of those affected receive justice in a swift manner.

“In this time of tragedy, I want to encourage those affected by yesterday’s shooting to contact Allegheny County’s Office of Violence Prevention at 412-247-7957. Residents in need of mental health services may also contact the Office of Behavioral Health at 412-350-4457. Both services can provide invaluable support as our community heals from this shooting.

“As Blawnox Borough and staff at Tri-Arc Manufacturing Co. continue to grapple with this loss, we must remain vigilant in reporting crimes to our local police departments.

“As we hold the families in our thoughts and prayers, we will stand strong as a community as we continue to navigate this tragedy. My profound thanks to the police officers who worked to protect our community from this act of gun violence.”

The shooting occurred Tuesday, March 19 at Tri-Arc Manufacturing Co. Officers from Blawnox Borough Police Department and O’Hara Township Police Department responded to a domestic dispute there shortly before 6:30 a.m. Sean Black allegedly shot Smith four to five times, and fired two or three shots at Zoelle. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office pronounced Smith dead at 6:42 a.m.

Black faces charges of homicide, attempted homicide, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, and two counts of carrying a firearm without a license.

Constituents may contact their local police department to report any crimes, and Steele’s office at 724-826-5151 to address any legislative issues relating to community safety.