EAST PITTSBURGH, Pa. – A police officer fatally shot a 17-year-old boy, just a few seconds after he fled from a traffic stop late Tuesday in a confrontation partially captured on video from a nearby home.
The researchers said Wednesday that the car stopped in the center of East Pittsburgh corresponds to the description of a vehicle sought in a fatal shooting rampage in a village a few kilometres away. A East Pittsburgh officer, who has not yet been identified, is taking the driver into custody with the two occupants, including the 17-year-old, fled the car.
Allegheny County Police Inspector Coleman McDonough said the teenager was shot three times, but details such as where he was shot and his name would come later Wednesday by the medical examiner’s office. He said the police found two semi-automatic pistols on the floor of the car.
In the video, which was posted on Facebook, the teens could be seen dashing from the car. Three shots ring out, and both passengers appear to either duck or fall to the ground if they are behind a house. A woman screams, with the question of why an officer shot the boy to run.
There was no indication that the other passenger was shot or injured, but he was not captured and was still wanted by the police, McDonough said.
Debra Jones told The Associated Press, her voice is the one captured on the video.
Jones, 53, said she was sitting on the porch of the home she shares with her daughter as the traffic stop began. They said the officer drew his gun as he spoke to the driver, and they instinctively took cover.
“I fell of my chair and began to crawl in my house. But I turned around and said, ” No, someone must keep an eye on this,’ and I came out to look at the stop,” Jones said.
When the two passengers took off, “that officer not try to hunt or taze. He just shot that guy for running,” she said. “I looked out my kitchen window and they put him in the handcuffs. He wasn’t moving. I think that boy died right there on the side of my house.”
McDonough noted, there are circumstances when the law of Pennsylvania permits officers to use lethal force on a fleeing suspect. It is allowed to prevent serious injury or death to an officer or another person, or if the fleeing suspect has used or threatened violence or possesses a deadly weapon.
County police to perform an independent investigation, which is standard procedure, McDonough said. He said that the officer was placed on administrative leave.
The driver of the car, a 20-year-old man, was taken into custody and released after McDonough said the officials did not feel that they had cause to charge him in the earlier recording.
The shooting in North Braddock happened less than 15 minutes before the traffic stop, McDonough said. He said a 22-year-old man had been shot in the abdomen after nine shots were fired from the car. The man, who was treated at a hospital and released, told the police that he fired back and hit the car.
McDonough said that he was confident of the car being pulled by East Pittsburgh was involved in the incident, and notice that there is a back window was shot. He said it was too early in the investigation to say whether the teenager killed during the flight had fired a weapon in the earlier incident.
Lauer reported from Philadelphia.