SHALER (KDKA) – A man is in custody after a SWAT situation in Shaler Tuesday morning.
According to police, the incident took place at a town house in the 400-block of Lexington Court around 5 a.m.
Members of the Ross Township and Northern Regional SRT Teams boarded their armored tactical vehicle after getting the call. Within minutes, they were all over the neighborhood surrounding the home.
“It’s pretty nerve-wracking to see a sniper across the street from where you live at 5 o’clock in the morning,” Jennifer Matthews said.
But that’s exactly what she witnessed as officers moved into position and issued an evacuation order.
The show of force was prompted by an alleged domestic dispute. Inside the building, a man was wanted for beating his girlfriend.
“It happened quickly and she made contact with her sister. Her sister felt she was in danger, went to the house and her sister helped get her out of the house,” an undercover officer said. “The sister was also assaulted while trying to get her out of the house.”
Negotiators repeatedly tried to communicate with the suspect who has since been identified as 50-year-old Carmello Direnzo.
“He didn’t answer the door he didn’t respond to anything,” the officer said.
That set the stage for a dramatic pre-dawn end to the standoff..
Using a ladder and with firearms at the ready, a team of tactical officers breeched the front door and upstairs windows.
”You never know what you’re going to be getting into. It can change in a matter of seconds,” the officer said.
However, five minutes after it began, it was over. Tactical officers brought Direnzo out of the home in handcuffs and took him off to jail.
Police are not identifying the two female victims, but both suffered cuts and other type of wounds and were hospitalized. Both are expected to be okay.
Direnzo is being held at the Allegheny County Jail and is facing several charges including, terroristic threats and multiple counts of aggravated assault.
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