The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Kortz told investigators he shot Louis Vignone because he believed that Vignone and Vignone’s family had poisoned him and his family with cyanide when they were neighbors. Kortz told investigators that he knew Vignone’s mail route and "went to put some bullets in him."
On Thursday, Kortz allegedly shot Vignone just after 10 a.m. on Suburban Avenue in Collier. Residents close by, according to WTAE-TV, reported gunshots. They reportedly saw a white van leaving the area. That same van was later found outside the Carnegie Police Station after Kortz turned himself in.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Kortz told investigators he dropped the firearm after shooting Vignone at the scene, got into his van, and drove to the Carnegie Borough Police Department.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Vignone was pronounced dead at the scene from several gunshot wounds, including one to the head. Vignone was wearing his USPS uniform and working his shift when he was fatally wounded. The U.S. Attorney’s Office added that investigators found a gun and multiple shell casings in a yard near Vignone’s USPS truck.
Neighbors told KDKA-TV that Vignone was planning to retire from his postal service job after the winter season. According to WTAE, Vignone had been a mail carrier in the neighborhood for about 15 years.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Kortz made an appearance before Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia R. Eddy on Thursday at 5 p.m., and she requested that he be held without bond pending further criminal proceedings. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Allegheny County Police Department, and the Collier Township Police Department continue to investigate the case.
According to WPXI-TV, Kortz and Vignone were reportedly neighbors in Pittsburgh’s Sheraden neighborhood. Vignone and his family reportedly moved away from Kortz three years ago because Vignone allegedly believed Kortz was becoming increasingly paranoid about them, WPXI reports.
Kortz is scheduled to appear for a hearing Oct. 12 and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison or the death penalty.