PA baby shower argument over gifts prompts dad-to-be to open fire, injuring 3 people, police say

Lower Burrell police say Isiah Hampton is both the expectant father and suspected shooter

An argument over gifts at a Pennsylvania baby shower over the weekend escalated into the expectant father opening fire, wounding three people, including two teenagers, before he was taken into custody, police said. 

The police department in Lower Burell, located in Westmoreland County, about 18 miles northeast of downtown Pittsburgh, said its officers were dispatched at 6:07 p.m. to the Kinloch Fire Department to a report about an active shooter inside the fire hall. Upon arriving just four minutes later, officers located the suspected shooter outside the fire hall and took him into custody without incident. 

"However, this was not an active shooter situation but rather an isolated family incident during a baby shower," Lower Burell Police Department said

Preliminary investigation shows "a family argument began that turned physical," the statement said. The suspect then introduced a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun, firing off rounds. A 23-year-old male, a 19-year-old female and a 16-year-old male sustained gunshot wounds. 

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All victims were transported to area hospitals. At a press conference, Lower Burrell police Chief John Marhefka said none of the injuries sustained by the three victims appear to be life-threatening, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. 

Isiah Jumanne Hampton, 25, is charged with three first-degree felony counts of aggravated assault -- attempts to cause significant bodily injury or causes injury with extreme indifference, as well as one second-degree felony count of aggravated assault – attempts to cause bodily injury with a deadly weapon and one misdemeanor count of recklessly endangering another person, court records show. 

At an arraignment hearing held virtually Sunday morning, Unity District Judge Michael Mahady set Hampton’s bond at $250,000. As of Sunday, Hampton remained held at Westmoreland County Prison. His next court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 28 before District Judge Cheryl Peck Yakopec. 

A criminal complaint obtained by the Tribune-Review said Hampton got into an argument with a woman at the baby shower who asked him to transport gifts after the party concluded. It was not clear whether the woman was the one carrying the baby for which the party was being held. 

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According to the complaint: Hampton allegedly "grew abusive" toward the woman, who proceeded to slap him in the face. He then shoved the woman backward, and three men intervened. Hampton, who had fallen to the ground, pulled out a firearm. As the other men wrestled for the weapon, Hampton discharged the handgun. 

The 23-year-old victim was shot in his torso, while the 16-year-old boy was shot in the buttocks, according to the complaint. The 19-year-old, who was not the woman Hampton was arguing with, suffered a graze wound to the leg. Eventually, people at the party managed to take the handgun from Hampton and placed it on the bar as Hampton walked outside and police arrived, according to the complaint.  

The investigation is ongoing and is being handled by the Lower Burrell Police Department, working in conjunction with the Westmoreland County Detective Bureau.