WILKINSBURG (KDKA) — Wilkinsburg Police were called to the intersection of Penn Avenue and Wood Street early Sunday morning in response to reports of a man threatening another person with a gun.
When they arrived, they found a man who matched the description on Penn Avenue and identified him as 24-year-old Romir Talley.
Talley apparently led officers on a foot chase.
According to Wilkinsburg Police, the suspect pulled out a gun and fired a shot at the pursuing officer during the chase. The officer then returned fire, hitting the suspect in the 800 block of Penn Avenue.
Talley was pronounced dead at the scene.
The shooting took place a few feet from the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
“We are here to teach the word of God, so when you hear that happened close by that’s really scary,” said Pastor Boyaga Easan.
Pastor Boyaga Easan says they’re aware of incidents happening in the area but they’re never this close.
“We’ve been here for 14 years, we’ve not had any incidents, nothing serious, with the members of the church, we just keep praying it will never happen,” he said.
Pastor Easan also said he is saddened the shooting happened a few days before Christmas and believes it’s one more reason why it’s important to work with children.
“When you catch them, many times adults are already formed, trying to get adults to conform is more difficult,” he explained. “We’re trying to look into getting the kids of the environment more out in the community and more engaged.”
The Wilkinsburg officer involved has been placed on administrative leave and the investigation is being handled by the Allegheny County Police Department.
The family of Talley retained Todd J. Hollis Law. A press conference held on Dec. 24 will announce more details about their case.
The Wilkinsburg Police Department released a statement, saying in part:
“We believe that the officers followed protocol and responded accordingly in a perilous situation. Our department is working closely with the Allegheny County Homicide Division and the family of the actor to ensure a clear and thorough investigation is completed.
It would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the increase in violence, specifically homicides over these past two years. In the Department’s consistency to be proactive, public safety forums were reinstated last year, been more vigilant working with residents to increase safety and more options on how to address this epidemic.”