PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Two police officers are now on leave after shooting and killing a man during a burglary investigation.
The officers were investigating a burglary in Larimer Sunday morning, when a man inside the house started shooting.
The police officers returned fire and killed the man.
The criminal complaint for Juan Brian Jeter-Clark, 23, says he had broken into a home at 129 Finley Street around 4 a.m.
The homeowner, 57-year-old Christopher Mark Thompkins, was asleep with his ex-wife when she told police Jeter-Clark was standing over their bed.
Brenda Richmond says Thompkins got out of bed, told her to give him her gun and call 911.
Authorities say she didn’t know Jeter-Clark and watched him as he went from room to room on the second floor before going downstairs.
Richmond says Thompkins was worried about his mother, who was on the first floor, and that he went to the top of the landing. Investigators believe Thompkins fired the gun to try and frighten off Jeter-Clark.
At that same moment, Pittsburgh police officers were at the house and saw a man coming down the steps firing in their direction.
“A call for a break-in, police arrived on the front porch. While on the porch, shots were fired towards the direction of our officers – officers returned fire,” Mayor Bill Peduto said.
Thompkins was pronounced dead inside the house. Meanwhile, Jeter-Clark was found in the living room and was arrested.
Right now, the District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case.
“No cop goes out there wanting to shoot and kill somebody and we do not want our officers shot and killed. So, we have a situation in our community that we all should be concerned about,” Elizabeth Pittinger, of the Citizen Police Review Board, said.
“Anytime you have the loss of human life it’s a tragedy. So, you try to look at this as a way of understanding what caused the situation go back and work with the D.A.’s office and being able to determine all the factors,” Peduto said.
Acting Pittsburgh Bureau Chief of Police Scott Schubert sent out a statement Monday evening:
“A horrible chain of events unfolded on Finley Street in Larimer this past Sunday. It’s difficult to find the words to describe the amount of empathy that I have for both the family of Christopher Thompins and the two officers who were involved in the shooting. There are a lot of questions that we cannot immediately answer because we are currently reviewing the incident with the oversight of the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office. We have already reviewed the 911 call and video from the scene, and have scheduled interviews with the officers involved. We hope to offer details about the circumstances of the incident as soon as possible.”
Jeter-Clark is charged with criminal trespassing. He’s in the Allegheny County Jail on $50,000 bond.