PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — “I am Jessica Shelton, I lost three children last night and two nieces.”
That was Jessica Shelton talking to reporters less than 24 hours after what was supposed to be a spontaneous family cookout in Wilkinsburg. It suddenly turned to gut wrenching grief.
Six people were killed, including an unborn child, on the night of March 9, 2016.
A nightmare that continued for the family when the suspect in the murders, Cheron Shelton — no relations to the victims — was found not guilty.
“Now he has the chance to kill us all,” said Jessica, reacting to the not guilty verdict.
“So he needs to look at my face, because when I’m dead, McKinney is the blame of it.”
Shelton is referring to Randall McKinney, who was one of the defense attorneys in the Wilkinsburg mass shooting trial.
Eyewitnesses say they heard 30 to 40 gunshots nearly 4 years ago.
For Jessica, it seems like yesterday.
When KDKA reached out to her on her Facebook page, she said she was not doing any interviews, but did say, “I am angry, but my trust in God won’t allow me to be. I’m going to continue to raise my grandchildren, love and care for them as their mom and dad would have. This has come to an end for me.”
Nearly four years ago, pastor Maurice Trent presided over the funerals of the six killed in the shooting. He’s been by the victim’s families’ sides ever since, including when the not guilty verdict was read in court.
WATCH: KDKA’s Bob Allen Talks To Pastor Trent
“It was devastating. They spent four years waiting for justice, and the verdict is read, and it didn’t read the way the family hoped it would,” says Trent.
He was there to comfort Jessica, saying they were expecting a guilty verdict after hearing the evidence.
“We sat in the courtroom, we looked at all the evidence that came through, from sitting in the seats, it looked like there was enough evidence to convict him.”
Pastor Trent wanted to deliver a message from Jessica: “Jessica wanted to let the City of Pittsburgh know she’s not going to hold any ill will towards the shooter. She’s going to let this go.”
“She released it, she’s going to live her life raise her grandchildren and go to church and do what she has to do as a grandmother.”