MUNHALL (KDKA) — Allegheny County District Attorney Steve Zappala delivered the news to John Rozgonyi himself Tuesday.
The Munhall man won’t be facing charges after last week’s shooting outside his home, because in Zappala’s view, Rozgonyi acted in self-defense.
“I told him I wanted to close the file as quickly as we had all the evidence,” said Zappala.
So on Tuesday, Zappala returned to the scene of the shooting.
He looked at the alley alongside the house, and went to the detached garage where the burglars may have targeted a 1977 Mustang housed there.
When Rozgonyi, alerted by a neighbor, got to the alley, he found that two people were involved the burglary.
The man inside the garage, identified as Shawn Conroy, got caught by police not long after the incident began.
But the man police say was the lookout, Andrew Stevens, got into a shootout with Rozgonyi. Six shots a piece were fired says Zappala. Stevens was killed.
“I’m good with what happened,” said Zappala. “This is a classic self-defense and Castle Doctrine case, so he retreated, he returned deadly force with deadly force. Unfortunately, it’s changed the gentleman’s life. He’s very upset about this; he didn’t set out to hurt anybody on that particular day. The deceased kind of forced his hand.”
Zappala says recent acts by the legislature clarified the Castle Doctrine.
KDKA’s Harold Hayes asked Zappala, “Is there any difference between right in on your property or being out here?”
“There was in terms of what the legislation said, but here in this county, ” says Zappala, “we’ve always historically taken a position that you have the right to defend your property. Whether it’s a detached garage or your vehicle or your backyard or your porch.”
Meantime, the suspect who survived has his preliminary hearing on burglary charges scheduled for Wednesday.