- Associated Press - Monday, May 11, 2015

BELLE VERNON, Pa. (AP) - An employee was killed in a shooting Monday at an auto parts shop in western Pennsylvania, and police were searching for the gunman, authorities said.

The shooting occurred at Minniti Motor Sports in Rostraver Township, according to police Chief Gregory Resetar and the Westmoreland County coroner’s office. The call came in just before 8:15 a.m., a county 911 dispatch supervisor said.

The counter worker who was killed was Drew Molinari, 34, of Belle Vernon, his younger brother, Chuck Stephenson, told The Associated Press in a Facebook message. Condolences poured into Stephenson’s page and that of his brother, but Stephenson said the family didn’t wish to comment beyond confirming Molinari’s identity.

“My brother was a complicated man, and he may not have been the best, but he was the only brother I have. I have always loved him, and always will,” Stephenson said in a Facebook post imploring people to call police if they have any information about the shooting.

Lynn Fedrick said her boyfriend, Joe Minniti, owns the shop and was the only other person in the business when the counter worker was shot.

“Joe was in the back of the store and someone had come in and shot Drew,” Fedrick said. Minniti told her he didn’t see the shooting.

“No, he just heard a noise and he heard Drew yell and that was it,” Fedrick told The Associated Press.

Resetar said it was “too early to speculate” whether the shooting stemmed from a robbery or some sort of personal animosity between the gunman and the victim.

“The individual walked into the establishment and fired more than one round and struck and killed the victim,” Resetar said at the scene.

There were no witness reports of the gunman getting into a vehicle, so police don’t know if the suspect ran away or was able to access a vehicle away from the shooting scene in this township about 25 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

Some businesses were locked down or were taking other precautions, but there was no immediate indication the gunman planned to target anyone else, police and county emergency management officials said.

Police were setting up road blocks in hopes of finding the shooter and responded to a report of a possible gunman in a residential area about two miles away about three hours after the shooting at the shop. There was no immediate indication that resulted in any leads.

John Habel Jr., 66, said his daughter-in-law had called 911 prompting that response.

“I saw nothing. I heard what sounded like a gunshot out the back of my house. It could have been a firecracker, I don’t know,” Habel said, adding the family was aware of the shooting and called 911 as a precaution.

Fedrick said her boyfriend was taken to a hospital to be checked out when he became overly excited and overheated in the aftermath of the shooting. But authorities said there were no other reports of other shooting victims despite initial reports to the contrary.


Joe Mandak reported from Pittsburgh.

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