Remember David McIntyre
Last updated 11/2/2020 at 9:18pm
Do you remember David McIntyre?
On November 1, 2015 David and his brother CJ were playing video games in the living room of their south Pittsburgh home. Their mother Amanda and grandfather were in another room and all appeared to be well. At approximately 8:40 p.m. a man walked into David's home, stood in the foyer and opened fire. Little David was shot four times in the head and back. His bother CJ, 16, was shot six times in both arms, hand and back. 911 was called at approximately 8:44 p.m. Little David McIntyre was pronounced dead at 8:48 p.m. He died instantly. CJ was hospitalized and survived. The killer and accomplices have never been caught.
Little David McIntyre was a very fine young man, 6th grade honor student who "would give you the shirt off his back" according to his mother. He liked to dance, played soccer and was on the swim team. He loved reading and loved animals, especially his cat, Charcoal. A kind and fun-loving young man tragically gone too soon because of a senseless act of gun violence. He would have turned 16 years old on May 12 of this year. Instead of a 16 year birthday celebration, his mother visited his grave along with her 18 month old daughter who only knows her big brother by his grave stone where she plays with her toys on their frequent visitations to the cemetery.
Five years ago, I learned of this tragedy through the media and as director of South Pittsburgh Coalition for Peace (SPCP) was notified by Richard Carrington, ED of Voices Against Violence and SPCP /South Pittsburgh Peacemakers member. Another SPCP member, Rev. Maurice Trent, Pastor, Lighthouse Cathedral located in the vicinity of the murder, immediately visited the family to offer assistance.
SPCP sponsored a press conference and vigil for David and his family at the Lighthouse to bring awareness to this heinous crime and appeal to the killer to turn himself in. That of course never happened. Rev. Cornell Jones, of Iron Cross Ministries, now City of Pgh Group Violence Intervention Coordinator (GVI) attended the press conference and spoke of "Taking a village to make a change."
Rev. Trent said, "I am saddened to hear that on the 5th anniversary of little David McIntyre's death we still have not found the perpetrator that took his life at the age of 11. As a society we should be outraged. I am calling on the person or persons that knows something pertaining to this crime. I appeal to the better part of you to speak up and end the nightmare injustice for this precious mother so that she may have some peace. I call on our local police, do not ever give up on this case and send a message to the people in our society that taking a life of a child is never acceptable and will never be tolerated in our society."
Rob Conroy of CeasefirePa said, "As CeaseFirePA's organizing director and as a fellow human being/Pittsburgher, remembering David›s death five years later strikes a particularly painful chord within me. While every shooting is, to me, an unnecessary tragedy, that feeling is irredeemably magnified when children are involved. In the worst case scenario, multiple lives are taken, and multiple sets of friends, families, and communities are left picking up the pieces of that loss.
"We at CeaseFirePA are working every day to stop shootings by supporting communities in need with partners like South Pittsburgh Coalition for Peace and by empowering community members to fight for common-sense gun legislation like expanded background checks, Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), and a 'mandatory reporting of lost or stolen gun' law. None of us ever want to hear about another David being gunned down, and we won't sleep until our world is a safer one. Only together can we stop gun violence."
The SPCP is very grateful for our partners and the continuous support and funding of the Birmingham Foundation and Everytown for Gun Safety that effectively aids us in the struggle to fight against gun violence and protect our youth.
The impact of this child's death has taken its toll on mother Amanda Mikula, CJ, now 21, brother Ryan, now 17 and other family members. Amanda's father died of a heart attack nine months after David's death. She contributes it to his profound grief. Amanda states that both brothers feel they failed their baby brother by not being able to protect him. CJ dropped out of school, no job, no motivation, refuses therapy and dreads reliving his brother's death and his own near-fatal shooting on November 1.
For five years Richard Carrington and I have kept up with and supported Amanda who has been severely impacted. Lost her job, suffered intimate partner abuse and many times Richard and SPP has intervened and visited her when she was hospitalized from that abuse. She has been homeless and lived in a shelter prior to when her baby was born. Amanda wants her story told so that not only do we not forget David, but bring awareness to gun violence and its impact on the entire community and that we must act to prevent it.
Although Amanda states she is overprotective of her children, paranoid of her surroundings and has sometimes contemplated suicide, she feels she would not see justice taking that route. Plus, she has a beautiful little girl to raise. She states, "Society has to speak up. Can't keep burying babies, especially at the hands of an adult who is supposed to know right from wrong. A coward that took my son forever."
She takes one day at a time and receives mental health therapy, which helps her to get through it all. And she prays and relies on her faith.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." Martin Luther King Jr.
Please don't ever forget little David McIntyre and all children lost to senseless gun violence. It's a tragedy and an injustice that we can strive to rectify by our involvement as a community. A village. Valerie Dixon, Founder of Prevent Another Crime Today (PACT), and mother of Robert James Dixon, murdered in 2001, is working to establish a billboard with support from SPCP to find little David's killer. My prayers and support continue to go out to David's family at this time of remembrance and to all families who have lost children to gun violence. May God's peace and comfort be with you.
David McIntyre wanted to be a baseball player. Andrew McCutcheon was his hero. Perhaps David is playing baseball with the little angels in heaven. Rest peacefully, little David.
Rev. Eileen O. Smith, RN, director4
South Pittsburgh Coalition for Peace