Intruder kills man with shotgun |

Intruder kills man with shotgun

An East Liberty man was killed early Sunday when an intruder shot him at close range with a shotgun, police said.

A Pittsburgh police officer found James Russell Johnson, 24, facedown in the bedroom of his apartment in the 400 block of North Negley Avenue. A neighbor leaving for work about 5:30 a.m. noticed the man’s first-floor apartment door was kicked in and notified a passing patrolman, said city homicide Lt. Kevin Kraus.

Johnson was shot once in the face. Kraus said there were some items taken, but he declined to be more specific.

“It appears he was an intended target,” Kraus said at a news conference yesterday afternoon.

The Allegheny County Coroner’s Office ruled Johnson’s death a homicide.

Kraus said there was evidence of drug activity in the apartment, but it was unclear whether that played a role in the slaying.

Johnson lived alone. Police interviewed other tenants of the six-unit building but were unable to get a description of the shooter.

Johnson’s relatives stopped briefly at the apartment building but declined comment.

Tunde Rasheed, 31, has lived in the building for nearly five years. He heard of the shooting when he arrived home about 12:30 p.m.

“Something like this never happened before,” said the stunned Rasheed, who was preparing to attend the Steelers game yesterday. He said he’s never seen or heard of any problems in the building.

“I don’t know my neighbors here,” he said. “A cockroach problem, that’s about the only big deal in this house.”

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