PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office said Tuesday night that Leslie Sapp III, shot and killed earlier in the day by members of a U.S. Marshals’ Task Force, died of gunshot wounds to the trunk.
Sources told KDKA-TV News that it appeared Sapp, 47, may have been shot at least four times, and at least 15 rounds were fired by Task Force members when they showed up at the Knoxville home where Sapp was living.
KDKA’s Harold Hayes Reports:
Neither police nor the Medical Examiner’s Office would confirm how many times Sapp was wounded.
Pittsburgh Police, who were not part of the Task Force, are investigating the fatal shooting. And that investigation is being overseen by the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office.
Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay said that Sapp pointed a gun at law enforcement personnel when they showed up at his Redlyn Street home.
But McLay said only later did authorities learn that the gun Sapp had in his hands was an airsoft gun, and not a real firearm. McLay told a news conference that “the officers fired to defend themselves.”
“This individual confronted our officers with this weapon, adopted… presented it in a manner consistent with what one would use when trained to use a handgun against officers. The officers fired to defend themselves and that really is as much as I can share at this time,” Chief McLay said.
Sapp was on the U.S. Marshal’s Most Wanted List, being sought on charges involving the sexual assault of a young girl that allegedly went on over a period of four years.
A warrant for Sapp’s arrest was issued in July after a fifth grade, city elementary school student told police back in May that she was allegedly raped and otherwise sexually molested.
Sapp was a family friend.
The warrant charged him with statutory sexual assault, endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors, aggravated indecent assault and rape.
KDKA’s Harold Hayes Reports:
In one alleged instance, according to the criminal complaint, “Mr. Sapp provided her with marijuana, stating that the marijuana would make her headache go away. The victim stated that after they smoked the marijuana, Mr. Sapp pulled her pants and underwear down.”
The complaint also says the alleged victim did not tell her mother of the many alleged incidents early on because, “…she was afraid of Mr. Sapp and thought that she would get in trouble if she told her mother Mr. Sapp had sex with her.”
Sapp remained out of view of some neighbors for weeks until around New Year’s.
Early Tuesday morning, investigators arrived at the Redlyn Street address looking for the suspect at about 5:30 a.m. Then, gunshots rang out. County dispatch got a call about a shooting around 7 a.m.
Neighbors who heard anything heard a few gunshots, and then saw police agencies converge on the 100-block of Redlyn Street.
The shooting victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
A neighbor was shocked to learn that the man she always saw as polite was accused of such crimes and shocked that the execution of the warrant resulted in death.
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