PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The young man who investigators say was involved in a drive-by shooting that preceded the fatal police-involved shooting of Antwon Rose II in East Pittsburgh is going to jail.

Zaijuan Hester was back in court Monday morning.

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He was sentenced to 6-22 years in prison.

During the sentencing, Judge Anthony Mariani focused on Hester’s previous gun charges. He said it’s the third time the now-18-year-old has faced gun charges.

Zaijuan Hester (Photo Courtesy: Allegheny County)

The defense called five people to testify during the more than 90-minute hearing. Those who took the stand included a child psychologist, Hester’s mother, grandmother, uncle and Hester himself.

His mother testified about her son’s hardships as a child, losing five men in his life to gun violence, including his father and godfather.

Hester later apologized to the court and cried while on the stand. He also told the judge that when he gets out of jail, he wants to work with children to make sure they don’t go down the same path that he did.


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Back in March, Hester pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault and four firearms charges in connection with the drive-by shooting. Prosecutors dropped a charge of attempted homicide.

Police say Hester was in the back seat of a car in North Braddock when he opened fire on a man standing along the road. The intended target was not injured.

Former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld later pulled the vehicle over.

Both Hester, who was 17 at the time, and Rose ran from the vehicle.

Rosfeld opened fire, striking Rose three times. Rose later died. Hester was not hurt.

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Rose’s shooting was not factored into Hester’s sentencing.