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Apparent Drug Overdose On The South Side Kills 3, Hospitalizes 4

Bill O'Driscoll
90.5 WESA
The apartment building along Tunnel Boulevard in the South Side near where police responded to a medical emergency Sunday morning.

Pittsburgh Police responded to a medical situation in the South Side early Sunday morning. The initial investigation suggests a drug overdose.

This story was updated at 5:50 p.m. to include more information.

Three men died and four were hospitalized. All seven were wearing orange paper wristbands. Police believe they had all been at a party or concert together, said Chris Togneri, Department of Public Safety spokesperson.

“They then went to some sort of after-event party. And at that point is when detectives believe drugs were ingested and those drugs were tainted apparently.”

As of Sunday afternoon, one of the hospitalized men had been discharged, said Togneri.

Police stress this was not a case of a tainted drug being distributed at a large venue, but instead affected just one location. However, “that does mean there is potentially a tainted batch of drugs out there in the community,” said Tognieri. “Police are cautioning people, as they always do, don’t take drugs. Because you do not … know what is in the drugs.”

The men were all found in or near a single unit of City Club Apartments on South Tunnel Boulevard. Five were found in an apartment, one was found in an elevator outside the apartment, and another person was found a block away.

In a statement, apartment management said the men were not residents of the building, but “acquaintances of a resident in good standing.”

The investigation is ongoing.

Bill is a long-time Pittsburgh-based journalist specializing in the arts and the environment. Previous to working at WESA, he spent 21 years at the weekly Pittsburgh City Paper, the last 14 as Arts & Entertainment editor. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and in 30-plus years as a journalist has freelanced for publications including In Pittsburgh, The Nation, E: The Environmental Magazine, American Theatre, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bill has earned numerous Golden Quill awards from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania. He lives in the neighborhood of Manchester, and he once milked a goat. Email: