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Police probe fatal shooting of wheelchair-bound man

Authorities continue to investigate the shooting death of a wheelchair-bound McKeesport man in his home.

Jonathan Kirkland, 25, was found in his home with a fatal gunshot wound to the head Sunday night by his sister and nephew, who’d stopped in to check on him.

“They probably thought he had some money because he lived by himself,” said the victim’s sister Nakia Bracey, who speculates that robbery was the motive of the person who shot Kirkland. “He didn’t have enemies so far as I know.”

Kirkland — who’d been paralyzed in a 2002 shooting — was found in the dining room by Bracey and her 12-year-old son when they stopped at his home at 3202 Brownlee Ave. shortly after 8 p.m.

Bracey said she often looked in on her brother and had been over to see him earlier in the day, shortly before 1 p.m.

“I came in before the Steelers game to cook for him,” said Bracey, who was in the neighborhood where the shooting occurred with family members and loved ones on Monday.

Allegheny County and McKeesport police were there as well Monday carrying out their investigations.

McKeesport police Chief Bryan J. Washowich said officers recovered a handgun from the pocket of Kirkland’s pants.

Washowich said police still don’t have a motive for the shooting.

Bracey, 30, said this is not the first brother she’s lost to gun violence. In 2008, Daniel Bracey, 32, was killed in a shooting in Mon View Heights in West Mifflin.

Police said Kirkland was wounded in a Hi View Garden shooting in November 2002 when he was still a juvenile.

Bracey said her brother was shot in the stomach in that incident and sustained a spinal injury that left him unable to walk.

Kirkland mostly stayed indoors after the first shooting and he liked to play video games, friends and family members said.

The victim’s girlfriend Tonya Potts, 32, of McKeesport, described Kirkland as being “full of laughs. Full of fun. He had a Kool-Aid smile.”

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call McKeesport police at 412-675-5015 or the Allegheny County Homicide Unit at 412-473-1300.


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