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Police, ATF Agents Make Arrest In Shooting Of Clairton Police Officer

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(Credit: Allegheny County Police/KDKA)

(Credit: Allegheny County Police/KDKA)

FREELAND-WEB-HEADSHOT-2013 Lynne Hayes-Freeland
Lynne Hayes-Freeland is a general assignment reporter known for live,...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Police and ATF agents have made an arrest in the case involving the shooting of a Clairton police officer.

Emilio Rivera, a convicted felon, showed up on police radar because they thought they were tracking a man who was involved or planning to commit a murder. They set up a wiretap.

What they found out when they arrested him was not only was he planning a murder, they learned he was connected to the shooting of Officer Kuzak last April.

“We had information that he was linked to the Clairton [case], but it wasn’t put together until we had to move quickly to stop the possible homicide of his intended victim,” Allegheny County Police Supt. Charles Moffatt said.

Police arrested Rivera Wednesday after he was planning another unrelated home invasion and murder. Sources tell KDKA-TV he acknowledged he was involved in the Clairton home invasion that led to the shooting of Officer James Kuzak, but he says he did not pull the trigger on the officer.

Agents from the ATF, county and the DEA searched Rivera’s home for evidence and ammunition that may tie to the Clairton shooting was located, but they did not find the gun. ATF dogs were used to search a second home as well, but still no gun was located.

Word of Rivera’s arrest came as a relief for Kuzak who continues to recover.

“It was very emotional – brings a lot back to the officer, but that’s the best way I can say it,” Supt. Moffatt said.

Rivera is being charged with robbery, sex assault, criminal attempted homicide and aggravated assault. He is in the Allegheny County Jail.

Police say their investigation is not over. They’re still trying to find out who pulled the trigger.

Meantime in Clairton, there’s a sense of relief that a man accused of being involved in the shooting of a police officer is no longer on the streets.

“I’m just praying that they have the right one this time and that everything will work out for the officer,” Irene Townsend, of Clairton, said.

Officer Kuzak continues his recovery. He recently started aquatic therapy and is determined to walk again. He has started walking with braces in physical therapy.

Stay with KDKA.com and KDKA-TV for the latest information.

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