NORTH BRADDOCK (KDKA) — Two police officers were injured after someone opened fire on them in North Braddock late Tuesday night.
Police were called to a vacant house at the corner of 13th Street and Franklin Avenue shortly after 10:30 p.m. for a report of two juveniles being held hostage.
The SWAT team responded to the scene. As officers approached the house, police say someone fired shots at them.
“One officer was struck. His body armor stopped the bullet,” Allegheny County Police Lt. Andrew Schurman said. “He did sustain injuries to his arm. They were not life-threatening.”
Officer Brian Hodges’ arm injuries were possibly caused from flying glass or a bullet, but he was also able to return fire.
Officer James Mains suffered a head injury caused by broken glass.
One male suspect was seen fleeing the scene. While he was able to get away initially, police caught him near Hawkins Village in Rankin. He was interviewed by police and it was determined that he was responsible for shooting at the North Braddock officers.
“The guy who shot them has confessed to shooting them. His rationale was he thought someone was breaking into this abandoned house, which he had no right to be there anyway,” District Attorney Stephen Zappala said.
He has been identified as 20-year-old Dejon Howard. He has since been transported to the Allegheny County Jail and faces a list of charges, including attempted homicide, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and weapons violations.
Meanwhile, police detained two people inside the vacant house. It was later determined that they had no involvement with the shooting or suspected abduction.
It was also determined that there was no abduction.
There was a massive response by police and other law enforcement officials in North Braddock late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning.
Police blocked Braddock Avenue between Frazier and Yew streets. Every vehicle along the road was being checked by law enforcement.
Police were also going door-to-door, checking on the people who live in the neighborhood.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Allegheny County Police Tipline at 1-833-ALL-TIPS (1-833-255-8477).
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.