HIGHLAND PARK (KDKA) – A man is in serious condition, after being shot by police in Highland Park.
It began as a routine traffic stop around 10 p.m. Sunday near the intersection of Stanton Avenue and Faragut Street for two Zone Five officers.
However, when the driver tried to flee, police said the officer standing at the passenger window was dragged momentarily. While clinging on, the officer fired shots at close range inside the vehicle.
“The officer jumped into the vehicle and attempted to put the vehicle out of gear,” Pittsburgh Police Deputy Chief Paul Donaldson said. “It escalated to the point where the officer fired his weapon, striking the actor.”
“Pop, pop, pop. I heard about three or four shots that rang and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh.’ And then about five seconds later, as you can see in front of our building here, the entire floor of our building shook,” Amy Newland said.
Newland lives on the top floor of the apartment building and watched as the bloodied driver was put in an ambulance.
The officer was also injured when the vehicle crashed into the steps out front.
“It’s too early for us at this time to make any judgment about the officer’s actions. We do know that our officers are permitted to fire in self-defense,” Donaldson said. “The officer believed at the time that his life was in danger and so he took this action.”
James Jordan also heard the shots fired and ran inside his home.
“Think if somebody was walking past here. You, me or somebody else, just walking past, kids or something. They don’t think about that,” Jordan said.
The investigation is still very early in the process for Pittsburgh Police.
They plan on interviewing the driver, as well as the officer involved and other potential witnesses.
Both the suspect and the officer were being treated for various injuries. The driver is expected to face a number of charges.