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D.A.’s Office Investigating Weekend Chase, Police-Involved Shooting

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(Photo Credit: Allison Miller)

(Photo Credit: Allison Miller)

FREELAND-WEB-HEADSHOT-2013 Lynne Hayes-Freeland
Lynne Hayes-Freeland is a general assignment reporter known for live,...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There’s new information emerging today about a shooting on Pittsburgh’s South Side over the weekend involving five off-duty police officers that sent a man and his mother to the hospital.

The car fled Homestead in a police chase, and it ended with a crash on Carson Street early Sunday morning. Off-duty police officers then surrounded the car and cell phone video – obtained by KDKA-TV – shows officers as they fire five shots at the car, which police say almost hit the officers.

The chase and the video are now raising questions as the driver, an unidentified 37-year-old male, and his mother remain hospitalized.

“There is a situation – the vehicle is stopped, an officer is standing on top of another vehicle having his gun pointed downward; and there were two officers on either side of the door, the window, the drivers’ window,” Elizabeth Pittinger, the director of the Citizens Police Review Board, said. “And it’s at that point where the question comes in, what did this officer see?”

Police say the chase actually started in Homestead when the driver of the car ran a red light.

As they approached the city, the chase was called off twice by Pittsburgh police who backed off because of the heavy population in the Carson Street area. But off-duty officers reportedly heard the chase on scanners and got involved when the cars approached.

“When your discharging a firearm in a crowded area, it’s very, very risky and very dangerous; so we would be looking forward to hearing the officer’s explanation as to the severity of what he witnessed that justified, in his mind, firing his weapon, which is using deadly force,” said Pittinger.

Police haven’t identified the two people in the car. They did say, however, no weapons or drugs were found in the car or their possession.

The driver of the car has traffic violations in his past.

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravensthal said what happened was unfortunate, but it was too soon to comment on the investigation.

“It’s under investigation. Obviously, from what I understand, the District Attorney’s Office is also taking a look at the incident,” said Mayor Ravenstahl. “I can imagine it was a horrific one, and one that we wish wouldn’t have happened; but at the same time, our officers are trained to make sure they keep residents safe and at that moment, they felt that that was what they were doing.”

RELATED LINKS:
Driver And Mother Shot By Police During Chase, In Serious Condition (1/13/13)
More South Side News

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