Zappala On Larimer’s Woman’s Death: Police Actions Not Consistent With Training
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Allegheny County’s top prosecutor says he has concerns about the way Pittsburgh Police handled the case that ended in the shooting death of a Larimer woman on New Year’s Eve.
But those concerns do not rise to the level of criminal action against the officers.
The Allegheny County District Attorney has now reviewed the Ka’Sandra Wade case and has reached this conclusion: that police actions that night were not consistent with their training.
“They should have continued to ask questions,” said District Attorney Stephen Zappala. “Their training would require that at that point, to the extent that they don’t get a satisfactory response or they have not had the chance to talk to the complainant, then they contact a supervisor.”
But the night Wade was killed; Zappala says none of that happened. Wade’s boyfriend, Anthony Brown, is accused in her death. Authorities say he later took his own life during a standoff.
Wade called 911, but when police responded, officers made contact with only the man. Here’s what the dispatch tape recorded:
“At some point, Officer Schweitzer says, ‘a male came to the window. He said everything’s okay. He refused to answer the inaudible questions. I’m back,’” Zappala said.
The call came in at 10:38 p.m. The first police car arrived 10 minutes later, and by 11:01 p.m., police left.
Brown left a message for police before he took his own life.
Zappala read the note to reporters: “I killed Ka’Sandra Wade on Dec. 31. I did not mean to kill her. I lost it. I can’t live with it. They had a chance to save her and they didn’t do it last night. They came and left. I did it right before midnight. May God have mercy on me.”
But the District Attorney says even if police had called a supervisor, he’s not sure a warrant to enter the house would have been issued.
“From the evidence, as I understand it, I don’t think a judicial officer based upon what I’m telling you guys that we know now, that I know now, that a judicial officer would issue a warrant for entry into that home,” Zappala.
Meanwhile, the city police department is conducting its own internal investigation.