PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Michelle Kenney, Antwon Rose’s mother, is still in disbelief nearly three months after an East Pittsburgh Police officer shot and killed her son.
“I sit on the porch now waiting for my son to come home,” Kenney said.
Pictures of Antwon Rose hang outside her apartment in Hawkins Village in Rankin, and though it’s been three months since his fatal shooting, Kenney still can’t believe Antwon’s never coming back.
“It’s crazy ’cause school started, and I still wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning to double-check to make sure that he got up and he doesn’t miss the school bus,” she said.
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Antwon would never reach his 18th birthday. As the often-shown video confirms, East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld shot the 17-year-old three times in the back as he fled from a car. Though Rosfeld is now charged with criminal homicide, Kenney says she bears no malice towards police.
“I understand both sides. I just never thought that I would be on this side,” she said.
The daughter of a police officer, Kenney served for more than a decade as administrative assistant to the mayor and chief of police in Wilkinsburg. Though familiar with the stresses and pressures of the job, she says her son’s death cannot be justified.
“I have the utmost respect for law enforcement. I taught my children to have the utmost respect for law enforcement. My kids hung out with other officers’ kids. It’s so hard to believe that someone in a blue uniform was the person that took my son’s life,” Kenney said.
Watch part 2 of Andy Sheehan’s interview —
Minutes before, the car in which Antwon was riding was involved in a drive-by shooting. Another passenger, Zaijuan Hester, has been charged. But while declining to speak about her son’s decision to get in that car that day, Kenney says that Antwon had planned to go on to college and would now be a freshman at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Instead, the university recently returned her tuition deposit.
Kenney: “And I kept that check. I didn’t cash it.”
KDKA-TV’s Andy Sheehan: “You didn’t cash it.”
Kenney: “I couldn’t bring myself to cash it because I know what it represented. And that right there was the reality check that my son was never gonna be here to go to college.”
Today she keeps Antwon close to her heart — a picture of him on a pendant around her neck. Even though it won’t bring him back, Kenney wants justice in this case — a criminal conviction and a lengthy prison sentence for Rosfeld, whom she says could still be visited by his own family.
“I’d trade his mother places any day of the week. To be able to hug my son or tell him I love him or just see him walk down the street. I’d trade his mom places. I don’t think she would trade me,” Kenney said.