Anjohnito “A.J.” Willett Jr. has been named as the Pittsburgh shooting suspect who allegedly shot three students near Brashear High School Wednesday afternoon.
Anjohnito, 16, is expected to be arraigned Thursday on charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment in connection with the incident, which police said may have been in retaliation for a robbery last month. He’s being charged as an adult, according to the Associated Press.
The three victims, who were shot just as classes let out at Brashear, all suffered non-life-threatening injuries. One of the victims was grazed in the head, another was shot in the neck and shoulder and the third was shot in the leg and foot, according to CBS Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette identified the victims as 17-year-olds Andrew Humphrey and Robert “Eugene” Minor and 15-year-old DaJour Jones.
Anjohnito, who also goes by “A.J.,” was brought in for questioning Wednesday. According to police, the shooter emerged from nearby woods and shot the three teens, who were standing on a street near the school, with a handgun. A fourth person was also shot at but was not hit.
According to a friend of Anjohnito’s, the shooting suspect told him he had to walk a boy home from school. The friend and Anjohnito walked through a wooded area when the 16-year-old told his pal that he didn’t need to meet up with the boy anymore. The friend then left, and Anjohnito allegedly fired on the three students, according to court documents obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
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"Witness 1 said that as he/she turned away from Willet, they heard approximately 3 gunshots that were extremely loud and in very close proximity to them," police wrote. "Witness 1 further relayed that he/she immediately turned and looked toward Willet, who Witness 1 observed to now be in possession of a firearm and shooting toward Crane Avenue” near Brashear High School, the documents said.
Initial reports indicated that one of the victims was shot inside the school. The confusion stemmed from one of the students running back into the school after being shot, Lt. Kevin Kraus of the Pittsburgh Police Department told AP.
"We have nothing to associate this shooting with any other kind of mass school shooting or anything like that," he told the news wire service.
Those initial reports had Pittsburgh on edge, the city’s mayor said.
"Anytime you hear 'school shooting' like we did today, it raises everybody's awareness level to where it's even higher," said Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
Pittsburgh police said Anjohnito was the victim of a drug-related robbery at Brashear High School last month. Police said charges couldn’t be filed because the 16-year-old refused to identify the perpetrators. Instead, he told police that he “would take matters into his own account,” Kraus told AP.
Meanwhile, media reports indicated that the victims were initially uncooperative with police.