PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Carnegie man who works for the Pittsburgh Public Works Department is in custody after a dramatic series of events that began Tuesday at the Allegheny County Courthouse and ended with a gun stashed in a toilet at a downtown fast food restaurant.
To carry a concealed firearm in the state of Pennsylvania, a license is required, and the process begins with filling out an application.
Investigators say 25-year-old Pierre Perkins, a part-time truck driver with the city, crossed some lines when he walked into the Allegheny County Courthouse Tuesday morning “loud and disruptive,” and demanded a firearms’ carry license.
Sheriff’s deputies at the crowded Firearms License Office could see Perkins already had an exposed semi-automatic pistol and some paperwork.
However, he didn’t have the proper documents for a conceal carry permit. They told him to have a seat and fill one out.
“He did so and made a comment that he carries a gun ‘cause he hates cops,” said Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Kevin Kraus.
That got everyone’s attention. The sheriff’s officials didn’t hear the comment, but the other applicants did.
“It actually prompted a woman to write a note and slide it to the deputy because she was afraid to verbally communicate what she heard the gentleman say,” said Chief Deputy Kraus.
While they called for back-up, officials say Perkins took off. Surveillance footage shows him running to an illegally parked city vehicle and driving away.
Authorities went to the Public Works 6th Division facility in the Strip District where Perkins works, but he wasn’t there.
Chief Deputy Kraus says Perkins knew they were looking for him, so he got rid of the gun he was carrying in an unusual place.
“He went to the Jimmy Johns [on Grant Street], discarded the firearm in the rear toilet tank in a public restroom, and then some point subsequent to that came back to the Allegheny County Courthouse, and that’s where we detained and questioned him,” Chief Deputy Kraus said.
The Smith & Wesson 9MM semi-automatic pistol was eventually recovered from the toilet by sheriff’s officials.
Perkins is facing several charges, including illegally carrying a concealed firearm in a motor vehicle and recklessly endangering another person.
Friends say Perkin’s actions are surprising because it’s not in his character.
“It’s really surprising to me because that’s not his character at all,” said one of Perkins’ friends who didn’t want to be identified.
“It’s not real. That’s not him. The comment that he made, he would never ever say that in real life,” his girlfriend, who also didn’t want to be identified, said.
But officials say he could face additional counts related to what happened at the courthouse.
The city says Perkins’ employment was terminated Wednesday morning.
“He’s been terminated. Director Gable fired him today,” said Mayor Bill Peduto.
Although Perkins passed a background check before being hired, the city says his firing is permanent.
Meanwhile, Perkins’ listed address in Carnegie is in apparent violation of the city’s residency requirement for all employees.