OAKLAND (KDKA) – Allegheny County District Attorney Steve Zappala released a series of still surveillance photos introduced as evidence in the recent shooting in Oakland.
When they are shown in succession, they give you an idea what the videotape surveillance would depict.
It shows a person running across Forbes Avenue away from the Dunkin’ Donuts shop.
Police say that was former Slippery Rock University football player Zach Sheridan running away from Isaiah Smith after an altercation in which Smith brandished a weapon.
But, according to the district attorney, Sheridan’s attempt to run away would not save him.
Even while he fled, the video and the stills show the gunman firing.
One still showing the muzzle flash from the gun as the victim heads toward the middle of the street.
Others show what investigators say was the shooter’s stance before firing.
Sheridan was shot with a bullet that entered his back shoulder and exited his chest.
At a preliminary hearing Friday, though, there was testimony that the altercation started when a woman who was with Smith felt threatened by lewd comments from Sheridan and his friends and that Sheridan intervened when Smith and one of Sheridan’s friends confronted one another.
“Sheridan’s running away,” says Zappala. “So regardless of what happened up until that time, there’s no reason to shoot somebody. So the stand your ground law does not apply.”
Zappala says this is a first degree murder case, not one of self defense.
“I wanted to send a message today that if you’re going to commit a crime, certainly a major crime in Oakland, you will be seen, you will be caught and you will be prosecuted for what you do,” he said.
Zappala also praised Pittsburgh Police for videotaping an interrogation of Smith. He thinks more police agencies should do the same.
“It’s extremely significant to me that Pittsburgh Police and specifically these detectives have adopted that practice,” said Zappala.
“It can eliminate defense suppression issues, it changes or eliminates certain trial tactics,” says Zappala.
“It leads to guilty pleas,” he added.
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