NEW KENSINGTON (KDKA) — The reward for information on fallen New Kensington Police Officer Brian Shaw has been increased to a total of $40,000 and police now say they know why the suspect was pulled over.
Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Steven Limani said in a noon press conference that investigators know why the suspect in the homicide was pulled over but wouldn’t elaborate further.
The reward is now up to a combined $40,000.
The FBI has contributed $25,000 to the reward, while the U.S. Marshalls Service offered $5,000 and the ATF increased their original reward of $5,000 up to $10,000.
“There’s a lot of heavy hearts,” Limani said. “They’re going through a tough process, but yet staying very focused on their job which is to continue this investigation, find the person who killed Officer Shaw and bring him to justice. New Kensington officers are doing exactly what happens and what they are trained to do. There’s a task at hand and that task is finding the person who killed their fellow officer. They are committed to that task, they’re focused on that task and I think when that task is finally over they’ll be able to step aside and go through the grieving process themselves.”
“The holiday season is coming up,” Limani said. “The time of giving thanks, and obviously these individuals at the police department, the men and women who work here and their immediate and extended family, we’re all going to feel some pain losing somebody, losing a young man and a young officer. I got to hear the glowing stories about how wonderful this person was to the New Kensington Police Department and the bond they have with him. It’s impressive to listen to.”
“I can tell you standing there listening to the officers share stories about how he was vibrant, how he brought smiles and entertainment and wit and humor into their lives, he was obviously a very special person just by listening to how they talked about him,” Limani said. “So there’s a lot of heavy hearts inside those four walls and a lot of commitment and dedication on their part to try to find out who did this.”
Westmoreland County Detectives will lead the homicide investigation.
An autopsy has been completed on Officer Shaw’s body.
The body will be transported by hearse Saturday from Greensburg to the Rusiewicz Funeral Home, located at 3124 Leechburg Road, in Lower Burrell, at 1:30 p.m., traveling along Route 30 to Route 366 to Route 56.
The shooting was first reported around 8:15 p.m. Friday in the 1200 block of Leishman Avenue in New Kensington.
The suspect fled after the shots rang out, and remains at large.
According to New Kensington Police Chief Jim Klein, the incident started as a traffic stop. A foot chase followed and sometime during the pursuit, shots were fired.
Officer Brian Shaw, a patrolman, was struck in the chest. He was given CPR at the scene, but died from his injuries.
Now, Chief Klein is asking for the public’s help finding the gunman.
At a press briefing in the early morning hours of Saturday, a tearful Chief Klein said:
“Tonight, our department was involved in an incident where our officer attempted to make a traffic stop. The traffic stop lead to a foot pursuit. At some point during the foot pursuit, shots were fired. My officer was hit and he succumbed to his injuries. The officer is Officer Brian Shaw, patrolman. He’s been with the New Kensington Police Department for less than a year. I’m asking anybody, anybody with any information, as [small] as they think it might be, please, please give us a call. We need to find the person that did this.”
New Kensington Police Officer Brian Shaw – on the job less than a year – shot & killed Friday night.
Suspect at large pic.twitter.com/nYOwX8J6Oc
— Ralph Iannotti (@IannottiRalph) November 18, 2017
A massive police presence converged on the New Kensington area, including officers from Westmoreland and Allegheny Counties, Pittsburgh Police, McKeesport Police and North Versailles Police.
They remained there through the overnight hours, processing the scene for evidence and combing the area for the suspect.
State Police is asking anyone with any information on the case to call 911 immediately. They are not releasing many details into the incident.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have any concrete information that we feel comfortable releasing right now. As soon as we have any, we’ll be more than happy to give it to you,” said Trooper Stephen Limani, of Pennsylvania State Police.
KDKA’s Amy Wadas Reports —
The incident has left neighbors terrified.
“I’ve never seen this many… I’ve never seen more than two cop cars here,” said one neighbor. “This is insane. We’re all praying for him… and for all the police officers to just catch whoever did this.”
“It’s kinda scary, especially with my kids around, but seeing a lot of action like this, it’s crazy. It’s scary, really. It’s unbelievable,” said Maria Ceniceros, another neighbor.
Police had been looking for a dark, tan-colored Jeep Cherokee in connection with the incident. Officers were told to approach the vehicle with extreme caution. But that SUV was recovered unoccupied just before 11 p.m. Friday in New Kensington.
UPDATE: We spotted the suspect vehicle. The plate reads KNP-9119 which was put out in the BOLO earlier tonight. We are trying to find out the whereabouts of the actual suspect. @CBSPittsburgh #KDKA pic.twitter.com/zsU0WkJB9M
— Amy Wadas (@AmyWadas) November 18, 2017
The vehicle had reportedly been seen earlier in the evening on Saltsburg Road in Penn Hills.
— Ian Smith (@ismithKDKA) November 18, 2017
Elsewhere in New Kensington, a heavy police presence was spotted in the 1100 block Walnut Street after 11:30 p.m.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.