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Police sources: Feud with neighbor ends in shooting, suicide

Mary Pitts-Devine was shot 8 times at point-blank range by her upstairs neighbor, who then turned the gun on himself.

Mary Pitts-Devine
Mary Pitts-DevineRead more

MARY PITTS-DEVINE is a survivor. She beat breast cancer and had a kidney transplant, all through God's grace, her LinkedIn profile says.

Now, Pitts-Devine, 46, is fighting for her life once more.

She remained in critical condition last night at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where she was taken Sunday after her neighbor ambushed her with a gun before turning the weapon on himself, police sources said.

Just before 11 a.m., Steven Outlaw confronted Pitts-Devine inside the first-floor stairwell of their apartment building on Spruce Street near 45th in Spruce Hill, a normally quiet section of West Philly.

An argument broke out, and it quickly got heated: Outlaw, 53, pulled out the gun and fired at point-blank range, hitting Pitts-Devine eight times, the sources said.

He then calmly walked upstairs to his second-floor apartment, closed the door and shot himself in the head. He died about an hour later at Penn Presbyterian, according to police.

Sources say Outlaw had no criminal record, and had a permit for the gun he used in the vicious attack.

It's not clear what sparked the fatal encounter, but investigators found evidence that Outlaw and Pitts-Devine had a longstanding feud.

Outlaw, sources said, repeatedly had made wild accusations about his neighbor, including that she was flooding his apartment and wiretapping his phone.

None of those claims was true, and Outlaw never filed police reports about Pitts-Devine, the source said.

Pitts-Devine, a La Salle University graduate, founded Prophetic Presentations, an entertainment firm that "speaks to the hearts of mankind via the arts," according to social-media posts.

On LinkedIn, she wrote:

"I am a people person and lover of TRUTH, ANIMALS, ARTS & Positive ENTERTAINMENT. I'm a great Facilitator, Visionaire & Orator. I absolutely believe EVERYONE can be RESTORED through the Grace & Power of God. I am living proof of this. . . .

"I love to BUILD people & believe EVERYONE has a PURPOSE!"