Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | By Liz Zemba
Neighbors of two Fayette County men who died in a double shooting on Wednesday said the pair were longtime friends with good reputations among family and friends.
"They were both awesome guys, to be honest," said Nell Burnham, 50, a Redstone woman who used to live next door to the house where the shootings occurred.
Police have identified the men as Kenneth Moody, 54, and Michael Monestersky, 56. Moody lived in the duplex where the shootings occurred at 659 Second St. in the Redstone Township village of Filbert.
Moody was found dead inside the house with a "physical wound" on the side of his head, according to District Attorney Jack Heneks Jr. Monestersky was found in the front yard of the house.
Heneks declined to provide additional details of the men's injuries, but state police said both men sustained gunshot wounds. Autopsy reports were not available yesterday.
Two people who were inside the home at the time of the shootings, a 19-year-old male and a juvenile female, were questioned afterward and released, police said.
Heneks said investigators are awaiting the autopsy results to see if they confirm statements the two provided to police. He said police are mulling several theories as to how the shootings might have occurred.
"The only thing that looks clear is that Monestersky was shot outside, and small bullet holes in the screen door indicate a small-caliber weapon, from a rifle or revolver, (fired from) inside the house," Heneks said. "But I won't get into who shot who. I have to see the autopsy and the toxicology tests."
Heneks said it's not clear whether the state's expanded "Castle Doctrine" statute of self-defense will be applicable in the shootings. The law was expanded to allow deadly force without retreat outside a person's home to his or her car, yard or any other location where he or she is legally allowed to be.
Neighbors who gathered near the shooting scene on Wednesday said Moody and Monestersky both had good reputations.
"(Moody) was a hard-working guy, just a nice guy, really," said Mandee Costello, 25, of Redstone.
Mary Beth Stanislaw said Moody was a skilled carpenter who helped her remodel several homes.
Court records indicate Monestersky was awaiting trial on charges of carrying a firearm without a license, harassment and public drunkenness in connection with an incident on Sept. 13 in Menallen Township.
In a criminal complaint, state police at Uniontown said Monestersky had a .380-caliber handgun in his possession when he followed a Twin Star Tavern bartender to her Moore Avenue home at 4:10 a.m. and banged on the door. The woman told police she fled from her own home and called them because Monestersky "had made comments in the past that he carries a gun."
Older court records indicate Moody and Monestersky knew each other since at least 1987, when Monestersky was accused of attempted homicide for shooting at a state trooper during an undercover drug purchase.
Court records indicate both men were at Monestersky's residence when troopers attempted to make arrests. Monestersky was accused of firing a shotgun over the head of one of the troopers, but a jury acquitted him of all charges.
On his Facebook page, Monestersky indicated he enjoyed hunting, fishing and riding all-terrain vehicles. Family included a wife, seven children and 11 grandchildren, according to his posts.
According to Moody's uncle, Leroy Moody, the shooting marks the second time in the past year a loved one has been lost to violence. Leroy Moody is the father of Tiffany Moody, a 17-year-old Uniontown girl who died in a fatal shooting at Pershing Court in Uniontown.
No arrests have been made in connection with Wednesday's shootings, which police have described as a double homicide.
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