Details of city shooting released

Altoona police recovered a cellphone outside the Walnut Avenue home where a man was shot to death, according to court documents.

A search warrant obtained by Altoona police states that police recovered a Samsung flip phone in a gravel parking area behind 124 Walnut Ave., where 37-year-old Steven Hackney was shot to death a few minutes past 1 a.m. Saturday. Information on the cellphone, police note in their search warrant application, might help identify Hackney’s killer.

According to the warrant, police responded to the home about 1:05 a.m. after a caller to 911 reported hearing three gunshots and seeing three men fleeing the area, running west on the 100 block of Walnut Avenue Alley.

The door to 124 Walnut was ajar when the first officer, Cpl. Christopher Moser, arrived, and after backup was on scene, Moser announced, “Altoona police” several times before entering, the warrant indicates.

Police wrote in the warrant that there was “a large sum of money scattered on the floor in the dining room near the stairs to the second floor.” Upstairs, police found Hackney face down in a pool of blood in a bedroom. Police said a check of Hackney showed no vital signs and he had a neck wound, possibly from a gunshot. Hackney, a Washington, D.C., native with ties to Altoona going back to at least 2005, was clutching an Apple iPhone, documents note.

A search warrant was also executed for data on that phone, according to records.

The warrant also notes that a shell casing from an unknown caliber handgun was found at Hackney’s feet and there appeared to be a bullet hole in the closet door.

Altoona detectives continue to follow up on leads but declined to comment this week on other details of the investigation.

Hackney was charged in 2006 in connection with an Oct. 11, 2005, shooting incident at Fifth Street and Fourth Avenue in which Hackney pulled his vehicle alongside another car and fired seven shots into it, injuring a passenger in the hand. He fled the area, was apprehended in 2009 and pleaded guilty in 2010 to lesser charges. Hackney was sentenced to 11 months to 23 months in county jail.