PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Three officers were killed during a wild shootout in Stanton Heights in 2009.
Saturday, friends, family and officers remembered those killed during a memorial service.
The flag flew at half-staff in the back yard of Max and Sue Sciullo’s house in Bloomfield. It was six years ago today that that their son Paul Sciullo and two other Pittsburgh Police Officers, Eric Kelly and Stephen Mayhle, were gunned down while responding to a domestic violence call in Stanton Heights.
The Sciullos praise police officers for helping them get through the tragedy.
“We lost Paul, but like he always says, we gained a wonderful family from this,” said Sue Sciullo. “God bless all of them. We just pray they all stay safe.”
Saturday morning the Sciullos attended a memorial ceremony outside Zone 5 in East Liberty.
“The Mayhle family, the Kelly family, they were all there,” said Max Sciullo. “It was real nice seeing them again. It was an honor for us to be down there honoring the three officers.”
For hours the officers were engaged in a gun battle with Richard Poplawski. Poplawski, now 27, was convicted in 2011 of first degree murder and remains on death row. Since then, the house in Stanton Heights where the shootings happened is gone.
Roses and a small white cross were left in the vacant lot. A memorial to the slain officers now sits outside St. Maria Goretti Liberty Campus Church.
The community is slowly healing and Rev. Regis Farmer credits the families.
“The families have become an example to the community of faith, of healing and of hope for many,” said Farmer.
Rev. Farmer believes the three officers who tragically lost their lives that day did not die in vain.
“Nothing of good goes unrewarded and that they’ll be remembered for — their devotion to duty and their act of protecting society,” he said.