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Pittsburgh mother killed by man she had 'protection from abuse order' against, police say

Source: Mega: Allegheny County Sheriff's Office

Jan. 24 2022, Published 9:07 a.m. ET

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A woman was murdered and police say the victim had a protection order against her alleged killer.

Police responded to a report of a shooting in the 400 block of Lincoln Avenue in Pittsburgh on Jan. 19. There, first responders found a woman who had been shot multiple times.

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The victim, later identified as Rachel Dowden, 28, was taken to an area hospital where she died.

Deangelo Zieglar, 25, was arrested in connection to the murder. He was Dowden's ex-boyfriend. He was apprehended by Allegheny County Sheriff's Office deputies and was charged with criminal homicide, tampering with evidence, and for being a person not permitted to possess a firearm.

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A witness said Zeiglar met Dowden on Jan. 19 and said Zeiglar said he needed to get money from her. Police said Zieglar waited for Dowden at a bus stop. After stepping off of the bus, Zieglar reportedly followed Dowden before he shot her three times, according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Dowden received a protection from abuse order in November against Zieglar, with whom she had a child, because of his history of domestic violence.

In early January Dowden flagged down a sheriff's deputy near her Pittsburgh home and reported that Zieglar and another man might be inside her home, according to a complaint filed. She said she returned home from work to find Zieglar in the door of her home, demanding the Smith & Wesson, according to

Zieglar reportedly took it away from her and used it to strike her in the head before fleeing with the weapon, officials said.

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In 2020, Dowden said she experienced violence at the hands of Zieglar, claiming held knives to her neck and stomach while she was pregnant, according to WPXI News.

“I’m afraid he will find me, and cause harm physically, or kill me and my mother. He’s very emotionally unstable,” she wrote in her protection from abuse petition.

Zieglar was previously charged with making terroristic threats, simple assault, criminal trespassing and robbery in cases that involved Dowden, on Dec. 22..

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Court documents showed Zieglar reportedly contacted Dowden on Facebook messenger and called her multiple times, threatening her. She showed officers the messages. The next day, court documents said Zieglar triggered the fire alarm inside the Renewal Inc. probation center, and left without approval, and never came back, according to WTAE News.

Source: Mega: Allegheny County Sheriff's Office

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