EAST PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A large protest, rally and impromptu march formed outside of the East Pittsburgh Police station Wednesday evening, following the police-involved shooting death of 17-year-old Antwon Rose.
The gathering was a rally in support of Rose’s family. There was praying, chanting, marching and calls for an end to violence and police brutality.
The North Braddock and Forest Hills police departments have been called in to provide backup.
KDKA’s Kym Gable reports that emotions were running high during the demonstration.
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Among the hundreds of protesters who marched through the streets in East Pittsburgh, blocking intersections and stopping traffic for hours was John Leach, who told KDKA the shooting happened right in front of his home.
“He shot that boy three times in the back while I was watching. I already talked to the police and everything. That boy was murdered. He had no gun. Nothing,” said Leach. “My kids was outside. I just told my kids to go in the house and I see them have the car pulled over and they shooting the boy. Just running. Didn’t have no… he just ran. Running is not a death sentence. That’s what I’m glad they blocked this street off in protest ’cause that cop murdered that boy. He murdered him in front of my face.”
At one point, an unmarked law enforcement vehicle, with lights and siren activated, tried to make its way through the crowd, but was stopped by people who blocked its path. Eventually, a team of officers on foot flanked both sides of the SUV so it could navigate its way through the crowd.
Dozens of police officers from several departments were deployed to the demonstration. Allegheny County’s Police superintendent was also there for a period of time. The crowd continued to protest even when heavy rains rolled through the area.
Rose’s shooting death was caught on video by nearby residents. It all started when police were called to a shooting Tuesday night in North Braddock.
A short time later, police spotted what they believed was the car seen fleeing the scene on nearby Grandview Avenue in East Pittsburgh. The car had bullet holes in the rear windows.
Police pulled it over for a traffic stop.
While an East Pittsburgh police officer was detaining the driver, two passengers ran from the car, including Rose.
The officer opened fire and Rose was struck by multiple rounds.
Police found two weapons inside the vehicle, but Rose was unarmed.
The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.