NEW KENSINGTON (KDKA) – The reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect who fatally shot a New Kensington Police officer Friday night has been increased to $40,000 as the search continues.
The shooting happened in the 1200 block of Leishman Avenue in New Kensington 8:15 p.m. Friday.
According to New Kensington Police Chief Jim Klein, the incident started with a traffic stop. A foot chase followed and sometime during the pursuit, shots were fired.
Twenty-five-year-old Officer Brian Shaw, a patrolman, was struck in the chest. Klein confirmed Saturday afternoon that Shaw was wearing a vest at the time of the shooting.
Shaw was given CPR at the scene, but died from his injuries. The suspect fled after the shots rang out. He remains at large as of Saturday afternoon.
Police were searching for a vehicle in connection to the shooting Friday night. They found it just before 11 p.m., but it was unoccupied.
At a press conference Saturday afternoon, Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Steven Limani said investigators know why the suspect was pulled over but did not provide further details. The suspect has not been identified.
“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.”
Klein says Shaw was with the New Kensington Police Department for less than a year.
“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.”
A $40,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the suspect’s arrest. 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.
A multi-department investigation led by the Westmoreland County Detectives’ Bureau is ongoing. The investigation involves federal, state and local agencies.
“To the individual that did this: we will find you. We will arrest you, and we will prosecute you so that you are held accountable for what has occurred,” Klein said at a brief press conference Saturday afternoon.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the ATF 24/7 hotline at 1-888-283-4867 or 911. You can also email ATFTips@atf.gov with tips.
An autopsy has been performed on Officer Shaw’s body. A hearse left Greensburg at 1:30 p.m. to take his remains to Rusiewicz Funeral Home in Lower Burrell. The procession arrived in Lower Burrell around 2:30 p.m.
Friends will be received at the Rusiewicz of Lower Burrell Funeral Home from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 20, and Tuesday, Nov. 21.
The Rusiewicz of Lower Burrell Funeral Home is located at 3124 Leechburg Road.
Prayers of Transfer will be said on Wednesday, Nov. 22, at 9:15 a.m. at the funeral home. Christian Funeral Mass will follow at Mount St. Peter Roman Catholic Church on Freeport Road in New Kensington.
New Kensington Police say food donations for Shaw’s family and the police department will be accepted at the New Kensington Fire Department #1 on 4th Avenue until 5 p.m. Saturday.
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