David Magill Shooting, Lower Burrell PA, Resident Shooting – Nathan Salem waited in his truck for Mogie’s Irish Pub owner David “Mogie” Magill to get to work Thursday morning, then shot him to death and drove to Lower Burrell City Hall and confessed to the killing, police say.
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“I shot him,” police quoted Salem as saying when he arrived at City Hall minutes after police responded to the shooting, according to an affidavit filed to support the murder charge against Salem. Police said Magill, 64, was pronounced dead at Allegheny Valley Hospital in Harrison. Lower Burrell police Chief John Marhefka said Magill suffered a gunshot wound to his torso.
The shooting took place just after 9 a.m. outside the popular bar and restaurant at the corner of Leechburg and Wildlife Lodge roads. Salem, 45, of Lower Burrell is charged with first-degree murder and criminal homicide, according to court papers filed in the case. Police said they do not have a motive in the shooting.
District Judge Cheryl Peck Yakopec said Salem will be held without bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 3. Marhefka said Salem claimed to have two guns in his truck. At the scene of the shooting, the chief said, officers found multiple bullet holes in Magill’s vehicle in the pub’s parking lot and at least one bullet that went through a pub window and lodged in an interior wall.
A search of online court records indicated that Salem had no prior record. Marhefka thanked surrounding communities’ police departments for their assistance. He asked the community to respect both families’ privacy during this time. “It’s a tragedy the whole way around,” Marhefka said.
Magill was a well-known and popular business owner noted for his support of local charities, his outspoken political views and his support for police. He was a supporter of the Back the Blue movement and assisted with fundraising for the Officer Brian Shaw Foundation.
Shaw, of Lower Burrell, was a New Kensington police officer who was shot and killed after a traffic stop and foot chase in 2017. Magill used the pub space to coordinate and host annual Officer Brian Shaw Foundation concerts since 2018. He also hosted and promoted food drives for families of fallen officers.
“He was a big supporter of law enforcement, Back the Blue. There were several events that would happen at his restaurant,” Marhefka said. “It’s a tremendous loss to the community.” Greg Mellish, a mechanic who was working at Morabito Motors across the street from the pub Thursday morning, was the first on the scene. He heard gunshots about 9 a.m. and rushed outside to see what was going on.
Mellish, 30, of Leechburg said he saw a silver Ford Ranger pickup take off down Leechburg Road. He said he ran over to the Mogie’s parking lot and began CPR on Magill. What I did was no different than what anyone else would do,” Mellish said. Mellish said he called 911 at 9:08 a.m. He said a Lower Burrell police officer arrived and continued to administer CPR until an ambulance arrived.
Burrell School District locked down all of its buildings just after 9 a.m., the district said in a statement on its website. The lockdown was lifted shortly before 9:30 a.m. after police confirmed Salem was in custody. Bon Air Elementary is just down the road from the bar and restaurant. The district said all students and staff were safe and the normal school day continued.
Evelyn Leezer of Lower Burrell was across Leechburg Road getting gas when she heard the shooting. “I heard ‘pop, pop,’ and I immediately looked across the street. I saw a little, silver truck and a (man) leaning out the passenger window shooting.” Leezer said she couldn’t see the victim because her view was blocked by the truck and some bushes along the road.