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Suspect’s Family Speaks Out After Weekend Police Shooting

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Harold Hayes Harold Hayes
Harold Hayes joined KDKA-TV in August of 1979 as a general assignment...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A teenager and a Pittsburgh Police officer are recovering from wounds they sustained during a shootout late Saturday night and early Sunday morning in East Liberty.

“I just want my brother to know that I love him and I hope he makes it ‘cause I can’t be without him — like we’re so close like that,” said Dena Hamilton, sister of suspect Dante Bonner.

Hamilton acknowledges her brother has been in trouble before. Court records show he was recently charged with aggravated assault and was released on bond. But she says she never expected anything like this.

Police say Bonner ran from a car officers were following after a traffic stop. Bonner ran from the car and during a foot chase, fired at officer Christopher Kertis – who then returned fire.

Kertis sustained leg injuries, but Bonner’s injuries were more serious.

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl says firing at police has its consequences.

“From everything I know at this point, they followed protocol and did what was necessary in that case and once again, you never know in this job what you’re going to encounter,” Ravenstahl said.

“And I give that officer credit for having the courage to keep people safe and engaging the suspect and bringing him to justice,” he added.

Hamilton also says her brother’s associations have proved to be trouble.

“He’s always getting in trouble behind his friends, because every time he’s hanging with these dudes — and I tell him to stop hanging around them — and now look what happened to my brother,” Hamilton said.

Family members also issued a statement offering apologies to the officer’s family, calling for a closer look at the procedures of Zone 5 officers and expressing concern that they’re in the dark about Bonner’s condition.

Bonner was last reported in critical condition.

Officer Kertis last reported in stable condition.

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