Breaking: Duquesne student in critical condition, two dead in Shaler shooting

By Julian Routh | News Editor

A father opened fire on his family in Shaler early Thursday morning, killing his daughter and critically injuring his wife and son, who attends Duquesne.

Allegheny County Police say James Edwards, 52, went room-to-room with two .44-caliber revolvers and attempted to kill his family before turning the gun on himself.

Edwards and his 19-year-old daughter Laurin died at the scene. His 51-year-old wife Charlene and 21-year-old son Jim are in critical condition at Allegheny General Hospital. Both are expected to survive their injuries, according to police.

Edwards also killed the family’s dog.

Duquesne spokesperson Bridget Fare confirmed that Jim, known as Jimmy to friends, is a fourth year pharmacy student at the university. Laurin attends Saint Francis University.

Jimmy Edwards. (Courtesy of Facebook)

“Words can’t accurately express the deep shock and sadness the Duquesne University community feels about this horrific incident,” Fare said. “We can’t imagine what they are going through. We are praying for James and his mother to make a full recovery and we express our deepest sympathies to their family and friends.”

The Rev. Sean Hogan, Duquesne’s executive vice president of student life, sent a statement via email to the student body Thursday afternoon notifying them of the incident.

“Please join us in praying for James and his family, their loved ones and friends, and our fellow Catholic community of St. Francis during this difficult time,” Hogan said.

The elder James Edwards had just been placed on suspension pending further action Friday by the company he was an electrician for, according to police.

The shooting happened in the family’s home on the 400-block of Winterset Drive in Shaler Township. Police responded to a 911 call from inside the house at approximately 3 a.m.

The Homicide Unit of the Allegheny County Police Department reported two different 911 calls were placed concerning the case. The first came from Charlene Edwards in the home. The second came from someone who was playing online video games with Jim when the shooting occurred and heard gunshots being fired and screams over the connection.

Jay Grubic, a fourth year nursing major at Duquesne who went to the same middle school and high school as Jimmy, said Jimmy is a “really nice kid” who loves hockey and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“Sometimes we will play pickup hockey and basketball down at the green courts on campus,” Grubic said. “He’s a strong person and I wish him a full recovery. His family is in my thoughts and prayers.”

Laurin was remembered in a Twitter post Thursday afternoon by Phi Lambda Psi, a sorority she was a member of.

“Last year Lammies was blessed with [Laurin] as sister and now the world is blessed with an angel. We will never forget this amazing girl,” the post said.