Christi Spicuzza shot dead by Calvin Crew Uber passenger in robbery gone wrong. Missing mom of four pleaded for her life before being shot dead. Arrest made a week later.
‘I’m begging you. I have four kids.’ A 22 year old Pennsylvania man has been arrested in the shooting death of a Pittsburgh Uber driver who was shot in the back of her head in a robbery gone wrong as she pleaded for her life with her passenger according to retrieved dash cam video.
A transcript of 38-year-old Christina ‘Christi’ Spicuzza‘s pleas were published in a criminal complaint against alleged killer Calvin Crew of Penn Hills, 22, charging him with homicide, robbery and tampering with evidence.
In the complaint, police said Crew used his girlfriend’s phone , 22-year-old Tanaya Mullen, to order an Uber to 139 Brinton Avenue in Pitcairn around 9.14 pm on February 10, then held a gun, which belonged to Mullen, to Spicuzza’s head and told her to keep driving.
She reached back after the gun was raised to her head, felt the weapon, and said ‘you’ve got to be joking,’ according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Crew told her again to keep driving, and she told him that she had a family: ‘I’m begging you. I have four kids.’
‘Do what I say and everything will be all right,’
‘I got a family too,’ Crew retorted. ‘Now drive.’
She reached back four seconds after the gun was raised to her head, felt the weapon, and incredulously said ‘you’ve got to be joking,’ according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Repeatedly, he told her to ‘complete the trip.’ She asked him multiple times to put the gun down, but he kept it pointed at the back of her neck.
‘Please take that off of me,’ she said. He reached up into the front seat and grabbed her phone from the dashboard, according to the complaint.
‘Do what I say and everything will be all right,’ he told her.
The dash cam cuts after Crew grabs the recorder and turns it off, the complaint alleges. It is unclear what happened next, although the ride ended with Spicuzza shooting death.
During the drive, according to the complaint, Mullen of Pitcairn, sent him a message saying, ‘[I’m] not going to jail if we get caught,’ the complaint reads.
‘Im holding out hope that Christi will be home soon..’
Spicuzza, of Turtle Creek, was found dead with a single gunshot wound to the back of her head and a 9mm shell casing near her body in a wooded area near the 500 block of Rosecrest Drive.
Before her body was recovered, her silver Nissan Sentra was found nearby on the 500 block of Fourth Street in Pitcairn with the dash cam missing and her purse still inside.
Spicuzza’s fiance Brandon Marto, had posted to Facebook pleading for Christi’s safe return after failing to return from her Thursday evening shift, on February 10, hours after cops came across the remnants of her car.
‘Im holding out hope that Christi will be home soon, but I’m so scared because inside the car was her purse, and she NEVER NEVER EVER would leave her purse in the car. This pain is unreal,’ he wrote.
Generally, he wrote, she would check in with him every hour while she drove for Uber, but he said he hadn’t heard from her – he said that he put their four kids to bed after their last correspondence around 9 a.m., then awoke at 4 a.m. to discover that she hadn’t reached out.
‘She ALWAYS checks in with me every hour. ALWAYS. EVERY HOUR,’ he wrote.
Suspect had felony firearms record
‘This is incredibly out of character for her. She would never not check in. And now close to 24 hours later, I would have heard from her if everything was OK,’ he wrote.
Ultimately, Spicuzza’s dashboard camera was recovered one-tenth of a mile from the spot where she picked up Crew, and police viewed the footage from a mini SD card in the camera, which recorded audio and video from the front and back of the car, court paperwork stated.
Crew was arrested around 7 pm on February 17th, and arraigned the following day. He is currently being held without bail at Allegheny County before a preliminary court hearing scheduled for February 25.
It is unclear whether Mullen will face charges.
Crew is an ex-convict who was not allowed to possess a firearm, according to the criminal complaint, due to serious offenses he committed as a juvenile, according to Heavy.
Days before the homicide warrant was filed, on February 15, he was arrested by the Northern Regional Police Department for a felony related to the sale and transfer of firearms and a misdemeanor of falsification to authorities. That case was filed on December 8 for crimes that authorities allege took place on September 10, 2020.
At a press conference, Allegheny County Police Department Superintendent Christopher Kearns said Crew had no prior relationship with Spicuzza, which he said was unusual in a homicide case.
The Uber driver’s death comes as violent crime is on the rise in Pittsburgh. In 2021, there were 227 aggravated assaults with guns, compared to 181 in 2020 and 161 in 2019. Non-fatal shootings were also up, with 176 reported incidents in 2021 compared to 154 in 2020 and 146 in 2019, according to the Pittsburgh Police Department.
Spicuzza will be laid to rest on Monday, February 21 in her hometown of Monroeville.