PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Police are investigating after shots were fired while officers were on a routine patrol check Tuesday afternoon in the city’s Homewood section, prompting a lockdown at three schools and sending SWAT to the area.
According to officials at the scene, the incident happened at a home near the intersection of Blackadore Avenue and Frankstown Road.
KDKA’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland Reports:
Officials say the officers were on a routine patrol check at the nearby Salvation Army building when it all started just after 12:30 p.m.
The officers were inside the building when they heard gunfire outside. When they looked outside, shots were fired. The officers reported seeing a muzzle flash and hearing bullets hit the building.
SWAT then responded from the city, Allegheny County and even the Sheriff’s Department because it was not clear whether the shots were being fired at the officers, their car or someone else.
The officers were pinned down in the building for a while until tactical teams could get them out. They sent the people and employees who were already inside the Salvation Army to the basement.
One car was hit by the gunfire. Fortunately, the officers and their patrol car were not hit.
The officers and the people who were inside the Salvation Army when it all started were able to get out of the building safely. Some of those people were there for a food giveaway. They all received debriefing counseling.
The shots appear to have come from inside a row house. SWAT team members searched four nearby structures and evacuated several residents in the process.
The gunman was not found, but police did find shell casings and broken glass in the 1000-block of Blackadore Street.
“We were able to recover, in front of the second location in the 1000-block of Blackadore, shell casings that also coincided with Shot Spotter, which had gone off and notified us that there had been shots fired in the area,” said Pittsburgh Police Commander RaShall Brackney. “The police unit was not struck; however, the buildings were struck and we’re now processing the scene in an attempt to recover the shell casings and fragments from the building, which is next to the Salvation Army, kind of where the officers were parked.”
Authorities believe the gunman may have started shooting in the 900-block of Blackadore Street and then ran towards the 1000-block.
Police are still trying to figure out if the officers were the intended target of the gunshots.
“At this point, we are still trying to determine if the officers were the intended targets or secondary targets for someone already shooting at other victims,” said Commander Brackney. “We’re processing another vehicle that had been shot and obviously was somehow involved in the incident.”
Meanwhile, the lockdowns at nearby Pittsburgh Faison K-5, Pittsburgh Crescent Early Childhood and the Student Achievement Center have been lifted and the students dismissed in a staggered schedule. Police assisted the children with leaving with their parents.
KDKA’s Ralph Iannotti Reports:
Residents were also told to stay indoors during the incident.
The area was re-opened to traffic around 4 p.m.
Numerous law enforcement departments responded to the scene, including SWAT teams, hostage negotiators, school police, motorcycle officers and more.
No injuries were reported.
So far, police say they have not identified any suspects.
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