Washington man’s death ruled homicide 15 years after Downtown robbery left him paralyzed |

Washington man’s death ruled homicide 15 years after Downtown robbery left him paralyzed

Natasha Lindstrom
staff photographer
Michael Lahoff leaves Judge Jeffrey Manning’s courtroom in the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh Tuesday, January 4, 2005.

Officials have ruled as homicide the Tuesday death of a former Boy Scout leader who was paralyzed from the shoulders down when he was shot in the spine during a 2003 robbery at a Downtown Pittsburgh parking garage.

Michael Lahoff, 66, of Washington was pronounced dead about 11:15 a.m. at Lifecare Hospital, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office said.

The office said the death was a result of the spinal injury caused by the gunshot wound. It was unclear how the ruling may affect the gunman, who admitted to the shooting and was convicted of attempted homicide.

Lahoff, who lived in Mt. Lebanon at the time of the shooting, was a copy machine repairman and assistant Scoutmaster. He ran the Scouts’ swimming advancement program for the Conestoga District and taught religious classes at a Mt. Lebanon church.

Lahoff was injured in a shooting in January 2003 on the seventh floor of the Smithfield-Liberty parking garage. He was shot twice, in the collar bone and spine.

Marty Allen Armstrong of Springdale and Lamont Fulton of Crafton Heights went to prison for shooting and robbing Lahoff.

The pair robbed Lahoff of $15.

Armstrong used a stolen pistol to shoot Lahoff. He confessed to the robbery and shooting and was sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.

Fulton received five to 10 years in prison and was released in 2011, court records show.

On Jan. 3, 2003, Lahoff was sitting on the bumper of his Ford Escort and looking up in a manual a part for a copier he serviced at a nearby building when the two men approached.

During the trial of Fulton , Lahoff said someone put a gun to his head and told him, “I want it all.”

Lahoff said he handed over his wallet and begged for his life. Then he was shot.

Fulton was convicted of robbery, assault and being part of criminal conspiracy. A charge of attempted homicide was withdrawn.

Armstrong pleaded guilty to robbery, assault and a criminal conspiracy charge. He was convicted of attempted homicide.

Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter @NewsNatasha.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.