WEST END (KDKA) – Police charged 32-year-old Earl Jackson with the shooting death of 24-year-old Tamon Maurice Hatchin early Thursday morning.
Police say Jackson fired three shots and fatally wounded Hatchin at the corner of Brownsville Road and Marland Street in the city’s Knoxville neighborhood on Wednesday.
“I heard sirens and saw the police car go past us so I knew something went down,” said Dennis Mitchell, a neighbor.
Mitchell says his Port Authority bus detoured around the roped off crime scene early Wednesday afternoon, but he didn’t know a man lost his life right at the corner bus stop.
“We came up here and we saw the police tape,” said Mitchell.
Police said an eyewitness to the crime is cooperating with investigators and identified Jackson as the shooter after looking at a photo array.
The witness said that they were walking down the street with Hatchin, when the suspect called for Hatchin to cross the street to “talk to him.” As soon as Hatchin crossed the street, the two of them began arguing, according to the witness.
The victim and the suspect began to “tussle and the victim then pushed the actor away. The actor then reached into the back of his waist band of his pants and pulled out a semi-automatic pistol and shot the victim three times,” according to the witness.
The witness called 911 and the suspect fled the scene. Once police brought the eyewitness to the station, police said “without hesitation,” the witness picked out the photo of Jackson from a group of photos.
When asked if they were sure, the witness said they were “110 percent sure that the photo was the actor who shot the victim.”
Early Wednesday evening, Police located Jackson’s car roughly half a block away from a home on Steuben Street. The suspect’s sister leases the home and lives there with her children. The SWAT team surrounded the home and called for Jackson to come out with his hands up, but he refused.
After more than three hours, officers found Jackson hiding in a garbage can in the home’s basement. He surrendered peacefully to police around 11:35 p.m.
“Our SWAT officers hailed him a number of times and he resisted,” said Cmdr. Mike Pilyih, Pittsburgh Police. “It turned out he’d actually been hidden in this basement for a number of hours. Then, once he was found he came out peacefully.”
Police say Jackson pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in 2010 and is therefore considered a felon. He now faces one homicide charge and two gun-related charges since he’s not allowed to own or carry a firearm as a convinced felon.