PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Authorities are taking a closer look at a U.S. Marshal-involved shooting last month in the city after sources say an officer tested positive for cocaine.
It was by all accounts a justified shooting.
Members of the U.S. Marshals Task Force opened fire on accused child molester Leslie Sapp after Sapp confronted them with a pellet gun on a porch in the city’s Knoxville section.
The gun was indistinguishable from any number of handguns, and Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay called it a clear case of self-defense.
“This individual confronted our officers with this weapon, presenting it in a manner consistent with what one would use when trained to use a handgun against officers, and the officers fired to defend themselves,” said Chief McLay.
Sapp was hit at least four times; at least one of those shots coming from Sheriff Deputy Richard Dwyer, a 20-plus year veteran of the sheriff’s office.
But now it is Dwyer who is now under official scrutiny.
Informed sources say that a mandatory drug test of the deputy after the shooting revealed that Dwyer had trace amounts of cocaine in his system.
Sheriff Bill Mullen has declined all comment related to Dwyer and this case, but while Dwyer remains on paid administrative leave, informed sources say the sheriff’s office has recommended his firing pending a hearing on Friday.
The same sources say Dwyer’s mental state should have no bearing on the investigation of the Sapp shooting. Dwyer was one of several officers to open fire and at least one other officer fired shots that hit Sapp.
It remains unclear what impact, if any, these revelations will have on the investigation of this shooting.
For now, Chief McLay’s office has no comment.