JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – Cambria County District Attorney Gregory Neugebauer pleaded with the public Tuesday for anyone with information about the deadly shooting of Messiah Rhodes in Johnstown’s Moxham neighborhood to come forward.
“A young man of the age of 29 died,” Neugebauer said during a press conference at the Cambria County Coroner’s Office in Johnstown. “Him and his family deserve justice, and if you hold a piece of the puzzle to get justice for him and for his family, it’s the right thing to come forward.”
Authorities identified Rhodes, a Philadelphia native who lived in the Johnstown area for the past year, as the victim of Sunday’s shooting that occurred just before 3 p.m.
When Johnstown police responded to a call of multiple shots fired, they found Rhodes deceased in a vehicle.
An autopsy was completed on Monday at ForensicDx in Windber. Cambria County Coroner Jeffrey Lees has ruled the incident a homicide and gave the cause of Rhodes’ death as multiple gunshot wounds.
“He was found sitting in the driver’s seat of a parked vehicle along Lunen Street near Park Avenue,” Lees said on Tuesday. “This was right outside of the residence that he was living in.”
Authorities said the shooting was an isolated incident and do not believe it was connected to the breakup of a Johnstown-area drug ring that led to 31 indictments last week, or to any other recent violence in the city. Neugebauer said the general community is not in any danger.
There have been no arrests made at this time, and Neugebauer declined to comment on whether the police have any suspects, whether the homicide was drug-related or if there was anyone else in the vehicle when Rhodes was murdered. Additionally, nothing of any concern was found in the vehicle, according to authorities.
The investigation, involving the Johnstown Police Department and the district attorney’s and coroner’s offices, is ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the police. That can be done anonymously online at cityofjohnstownpa.net, by texting “JPD” to 847411 or by calling the nonemergency number, 814-472-2100.
Joshua Byers is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 814-532-5054. Follow him on Twitter @Journo_Josh.