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PENN HILLS (KDKA) – Police are searching for a man who fired a shot at a Penn Hills police officer Thursday morning.

According to the Penn Hills police chief, the suspect was seen looking into cars around 5 a.m. along Laketon Road.

When the officer arrived, the suspect allegedly ran, turned and fired a shot. The shot narrowly missed the officer.

(Photo Credit: Brian Smithmyer/KDKA)

A suspect described as being an African-American male standing about 5-feet-10-inches tall was seen in various driveways breaking into cars.

“Our first officer on the scene came up and saw the individual inside a car. At that point, the officer pulled up beside him and put what we call the alley lights on, which are bright lights on the police car shining out to the side of the car. The officer pulled up, at that point, the youth came out of the car, saw the police car, ran behind the car up into an area by the woods,” Penn Hills Police Chief Howard Burton said.

Police thought they had the suspect boxed in.

“The officer had his Taser out to tase the individual. As the officer came out with his Taser, the individual came with a firearm and shot at the officer,” Chief Burton said.

The officer was no more than 25 feet away from the suspect, but had no chance to return fire.

“At that point, the officer dove to the ground, took cover, drew his weapon. By that time, the individual had left up into the woods,” Chief Burton said.

For two hours, police from several municipalities search for the suspect, even using drones and shutting down traffic.

“We shut off Lindberg, Hebron, Frankstown…that whole section down by Hebron Church,” Chief Burton said.
While that have not located the suspect, police say he dropped a bag with some of the items he had allegedly stolen from cars. A backpack was also found in a nearby yard.

The Penn Hills police officer was not hurt and was wearing his vest at the time of the incident.