Falls cops seeking North End shooting suspects

Falls police are feverishly hunting for what they believe are a pair of gunmen who riddled a North End home with bullets on Tuesday night. 

The gunfire erupted at 9:45 p.m. in the 1500 block of Cleveland Avenue. The tenant of the home's lower apartment, Rashan Vincent Sr., told police he was watching a basketball game with friends when he "heard several gunshots and observed plaster from the walls falling."

Investigators said 17 rounds were fired into the first floor apartment, with more than half of the bullets penetrating the outer wall of the residence and several slugs lodging in interior walls. 

One detective called it "a miracle" that none of the four adults inside the home were struck. Vincent said he and the others in the apartment, laid on the floor when the shooting started.

Police reported no injuries as a result of the shooting. 

Crime Scene investigators recovered 17 shell casings from the sidewalk and street immediately in front of the home. Vincent told the detectives he "didn't see anyone or hear anyone outside" prior to the shooting.

Criminal Investigation Division detectives said the casings came from .9 mm and 45 caliber rounds, leading them to conclude that two shooters were involved in the incident. 

Vincent told detectives that he "has no enemies" and doesn't know why anyone would be shooting at his house. 

But Vincent, a known street gang member and convicted drug dealer is no stranger to Falls police, especially veteran Narcotics Intelligence Division detectives. He is currently on supervised release after serving four years in prison for both federal and state drug charge convictions. 

Narcotics investigators have called Vincent, 39, “a frequent flyer” in the local drug trade. His federal conviction was tied to a June 9, 2011, raid at his then home in the 2200 block of Niagara Street. Falls police narcotics detectives seized more than 33 grams of cocaine from that home.

The raid was part of a large scale investigation by Falls police and federal agents from the DEA, ATF and Customs and Border Protection into the drug dealing of more than two dozen Falls gang-bangers, a probe dubbed Operation Wild Nation.

The probe was a year-long look at the activities of five of the Cataract City’s violent street gangs and their drug suppliers - 9th & Wild, Get Money Nation (GMN), Stash House, 8th Street Boys and 20th N Centre.

Vincent, who was a member of the 9th & Wild street gang, has racked up 113 arrests, 13 on narcotics charges, in his lifetime.

While he was awaiting try on his federal charges, Vincent jumped back into the business of dealing dope.

In February 2013, Falls police narcotics detectives hit a 12th Street crack house and found Vincent and another man there. The raid netted the local drug investigators a quarter of an ounce of crack cocaine and a loaded 9-mm semi-automatic Ruger handgun.

On the second floor of the home, investigators also discovered what appeared to be a recently harvested marijuana crop.

Detectives said they were moving quickly to try to make arrests in the Cleveland Avenue shooting over concerns it could trigger retaliatory violence.

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