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Visitation resumes for Officer Sean Sluganski, who was shot and killed in the line of duty

Visitation resumes for fallen McKeesport officer Sean Sluganski 01:47

MCKEESPORT, Pa. (KDKA) - One officer was killed and another was injured after a shooting in McKeesport.

The officers were responding to a domestic call on Wilson Street when they encountered the suspect on Grandview Avenue. Allegheny County Police said the suspect pulled out a handgun and opened fire. 

Officer Sean Sluganski died and Officer Charles Thomas was taken to the hospital seriously injured but is now in stable condition. 

The suspect, Johnathan Morris, was also injured in an exchange of gunfire with a third officer and was taken to the hospital. He has now been charged. 


Stay with KDKA-TV and for updates to this developing story as they become available.    


Second day of visitation held for officer Sluganski

The second day of visitation for Officer Sean Sluganski was held on Monday. 

His visitation is happening until 8 p.m. at the Slater Funeral Home in Brentwood. 

Visitors are asked to park at the old Benson Lincoln dealership on Route 51 and a shuttle bus will take you to the funeral home.  

It's been one week since he was shot and killed in the line of duty.

The mass and burial will take place on Tuesday and won't be open to the public. 

If you'd like to pay your respects on Tuesday, you're asked to line the funeral procession route through McKeesport. It'll enter from the Mansfield Bridge and turn left onto West Fifth Avenue then right onto Walnut Street to Eden Park Boulevard and onto East Fifth Avenue.

The procession will return from McKeesport the way it came. You're asked to line these streets at 2 p.m. 


Visitation begins for Officer Sean Sluganski

Nearly one week after the death of a McKeesport police officer, loved ones and the community started to say their final goodbyes at the John F. Slater Funeral Home in Brentwood.   

To read more, click here.

By Lauren Linder

Map of Sluganski's funeral procession released

The McKeesport mayor's office released a map of officer Sean Sluganski's funeral procession. 

The public is asked to line up at 2 p.m., and the mayor's spokesperson suggested lining up along Lysle Boulevard and Eden Park Boulevard. 

Everyone who isn't coming to participate is asked to stay home because there will be "extreme" traffic delays for hours. 

You can find the procession route in the tweet below: 

By Jennifer Borrasso

FOP sets up fund for Sluganski

The Fraternal Order of the Police is setting up a fund for Sean Sluganski at the ParkView Community Federal Credit Union in McKeesport. 

More details can be found in the post below: 


Twin Rivers students make, send condolence cards to McKeesport Police officers

Following Officer Sluganski's tragic death, students from the community have made and sent condolence cards to other officers in the department.

The Twin Rivers school shared photos of the cards on Facebook.

4th and 5th grade afterschool students @ United made condolence cards for McKeesport officers and loved ones.💙🖤 #TogetherWeCan

Posted by Twin Rivers Elementary on Tuesday, February 7, 2023

The cards featured messages like "Thank you so much for being so heroic." and "Thank you for keeping us safe."

By Mike Darnay

Running for Sluganski

A middle schooler in Florida is making it his duty to honor and share the legacy of fallen first responders, including Sean Sluganski.

Running 4 Heroes

Click here to read more.

By Royce Jones

McKeesport Area SD goes virtual on Tuesday

The McKeesport Area School District will switch to remote learning on Tuesday to allow the community to attend Sean Sluganski's funeral. 

"To show our respect and support for Police Officer Sean Sluganski and his family, the McKeesport Area School District will operate on an asynchronous virtual learning day next Tuesday, February 14, 2023. 

"Operating on an asynchronous virtual day allows our community to pay their respects. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the Sluganski family, friends, our students, faculty, staff and the community. 

"As a reminder, there is a scheduled asynchronous virtual learning day for Monday, February 13, 2023. Assignments will be posted for students to complete," a Facebook post from the district said.

By Michael Guise

Johnathan Morris allegedly involved in previous violent incidents

The man accused of killing a McKeesport police officer and injuring another allegedly made a threatening phone call to an out-of-state bank about a month ago. 

Click here to read more.

By Ross Guidotti

Man charged in shooting of McKeesport Police officer released from hospital

Johnathan Morris, 32, who has been charged in connection with the shooting of two police officers in McKeesport, was released from the hospital on Thursday morning. 

Johnathan Morris, 32, is charged in the shooting and killing of McKeesport Office Sean Sluganski. (Photo Credit: KDKA)

Morris is charged in the death of Sean Sluganski and the shooting of Charles Thomas in McKeesport on Monday. 

Sluganski was killed and Thomas was injured.

Accused McKeesport police shooting suspect leaves UPMC Presbyterian 01:43
By Christopher DeRose

Elizabeth Forward HS wrestling team provides 'McKeesport Police Strong' t-shirts at match

The Elizabeth Forward and McKeesport high school wrestling teams met for a match on Tuesday night.

Students and coaches from McKeesport and Elizabeth Forward met for a group photo while wearing McKeesport Police Strong shirts in honor of fallen Officer Sean Sluganski. Submitted

At the match, hosted by Elizabeth Forward High School, wrestling coach Richard Scheurrman provided t-shirts he had made, printed with 'McKeesport Police Strong' on them in the wake of the death of Officer Sean Sluganski.

Both teams, along with some of the coaches, met for a group photo while wearing the t-shirts.

By Mike Darnay

Community holds vigil

Hundreds of people have gathered for a candlelight vigil for fallen McKeesport Officer Sean Sluganski. 

The vigil is at Renzie Park in McKeesport. Click here to read more.

By Royce Jones

Funeral home releases visitation, burial for Sean Sluganski

John F. Slater Funeral Home Inc. has released Sean Sluganski's obituary, which includes when the visitation, mass and burial will be taking place. 

Friends will be received at the John F. Slater Funeral Home at 4201 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15227 on Sunday, Feb. 12 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on Monday, Feb. 13 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

The mass and burial will take place at St. Albert the Great Church, Blessed Trinity Parish on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 12:00 p.m. 


Moment of silence

A moment of silence was held before the girls basketball game Tuesday between McKeesport and Penn-Trafford for Sean Sluganski. 

Click here to read more.

A moment of silence was held before the McKeesport girls basketball game on Feb. 7, 2023.  KDKA
By Jennifer Borrasso

Community shows support for McKeesport police

Minerva Bakery made everything black and blue on Tuesday to support the police. 

"They're here early in the morning to make sure we're getting into the building safely," said Erica Ashcroft.

She put signs up on the front door of the nearly 100-year-old bakery to say thanks. 

"We're all females and we're coming in by ourselves and they do the best that they can for us, so we'd like to show our support back to them," she said. 

Down the street at Sable Kennels, the women there work closely with McKeesport police on animal calls. 

"They always have our backs and we try to always have their backs and it's just an absolute tragedy," Jill Erny said. 

"Sean seemed like a really good guy. He was always very supportive when we were out there, seemed always to be happy and fun-loving but got the job done," said Dawn Weichler. 

Weichler said she had just left a call with officer Charles Thomas Jr. just an hour before the shooting.   

Back at the scene where it happened, a teddy bear sits against the fence. Eva Parker, a first responder, brought flowers from Bethel Park to pay her respects. 

"To show McKeesport that I'm here to support them. If they need anything, they can reach out to us and let them know all of Bethel Park and Allegheny County is behind them," she said. 

Community reacts to killing of McKeesport officer Sean Sluganski 02:36
By Meghan Schiller

Mayor calls shooting 'absolute nightmare'

A community continues to grieve after the shooting of two McKeesport officers. Thirty-two-year-old Sean Sluganski was killed. Thirty-five-year-old Charles Thomas Jr. is recovering at home.  

Police agencies across the area, including county police and the county sheriff's department, are filling patrols in McKeesport to allow officers to mourn the loss of their fellow officer. There is no timeline on how long they will patrol, but it is expected it will be at least through the funeral.  

A day later and McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko is still processing the loss of Sluganksi.  

"It's an absolute nightmare," the mayor told reporters.  

He spoke with officer Charles Thomas, who was also injured during the shooting. The four-year officer of the department is at home recovering and doing well.  

"But as with all of our officers, you can imagine him, who was there, shot as well with officer Sluganksi," Mayor Cherepko said.  

Court papers said the situation started with a 911 call for a domestic situation on Wilson Steet. 

The mother of 31-year-old Johnathan Morris allegedly called police and said her son who suffers from PTSD was being aggressive towards her.  

"It is definitely one of the most dangerous -- I would not say the most dangerous -- but it's definitely one of the most dangerous calls we get," Jackson Township Police Chief Terry Seilhamer said about domestic incidents.  

He said domestic calls are unpredictable and have many variables for officers to respond to.  

"Between the time of dispatch and the time you arrive on scene, that fluid situation can change very rapidly," Seilhamer said.  

Court papers said when officers found Morris on Grandview Avenue, he shot Sluganski and Thomas.  

A third officer ended up shooting Morris, who is still in a hospital for his injuries. Allegheny County police said he will be taken to the Allegheny County Jail when he is released.  

"Unfortunately, something like this may have been avoided. PTSD, mental health issues need to be addressed," neighbor Robin Lacey said.  

Lacey was at work, but her doorbell cam saw the shoutout.  

"I saw something I didn't need to see, and I wish I hadn't seen. Nobody needs to see it," Lacey said.  

She gave her video to the police for their investigation.  

At this point, Morris faces several charges including aggravated assault, assault of an officer and criminal homicide.  

Community mourning after shooting of 2 McKeesport officers 03:36
By Chris Hoffman

Procession takes fallen officer back to McKeesport

A procession on Tuesday afternoon escorted fallen McKeesport Officer Sean Sluganski back to McKeesport for his funeral. 

The hearse is lead by a fire truck and surrounded by other police officers.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Earlier in the day, McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko spoke publicly, thanking other law enforcement for their support. 

"Our police have received an overwhelming amount of support – not only from the McKeesport community, but far beyond as well," Mayor Cherepko said. "As mayor, I cannot thank these individuals and organizations enough for their support during this devastating time. It is their words of encouragement that will be with all of our officers as they continue to serve our community in the weeks, months, and years to come.

"Yesterday began as any day would for Officer Sluganski. He left his family at home and came to work. Our officers – all officers – never know what they are walking into. There is no such thing as a typical call in today's world. It is always the goal of a first-responder to complete his or her daily duties and return home safely. We should all give serious thought to what these families endure while their loved ones are out serving our community – hoping and praying that they never have to deal with what Officer Sluganski's family experienced yesterday."

By Heather Lang

Community in shock

Wilson Avenue is quiet this Tuesday. It's a stark contrast to one day ago when police officers swarmed the street. And now the community is in shock, mourning one of their police officers.

"This is the way of the world," a McKeesport resident said. "Any job you go into, there's a possibility."

KDKA's Ross Guidotti reports.

Latest on the fatal shooting of officer Sean Sluganski 02:34
By Heather Lang

Acting Pennsylvania Attorney General issues statement following shooting

On Tuesday morning, Acting Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry released this statement on the death of Officer Sean Sluganski.

"Today is a tragic day for the Commonwealth, for all of Allegheny County, and for the families of Officers Sluganski and Thomas, who said goodbye to them yesterday morning as they always do, not knowing what might happen. 

"I want to offer my sincere condolences to the loved ones of Officer Sluganski, who died a hero bravely responding to an emergency call for help. 

"While the investigation into this incident is still in the very early stages and ongoing, early reporting underscores the challenges and volatility we ask police to confront. We stand together to honor the service and sacrifice of these Officers and their families in service to our Commonwealth."

By Heather Lang

Teddy bear left for "McKeesport Police Family"

A lone teddy bear was left with a letter addressed to the "McKeesport Police Family" at the site where officer Sean Sluganski was shot and killed in the line of duty on Monday.

A teddy bear addressed to the "McKeesport Police Family" sits along a fence. KDKA Photojournalist Brian Smithmyer
By Ross Guidotti

Gov. Shapiro orders U.S., Commonwealth flags to half-staff in honor of Officer Sluganski

Following the death of Officer Sean Sluganski, Governor Josh Shapiro has ordered all U.S. and Pennsylvania flags at public buildings, facilities, and grounds throughout the commonwealth to fly at-half staff immediately in his honor.


The flags are to be lowered to half-staff until sunset on the day that Sluganski is laid to rest.

By Mike Darnay

Flag outside McKeesport Police Dept. flown at half-staff

The American flag outside the McKeesport Police Department are flying at half-staff in the wake of the shooting and killing of Officer Sean Sluganski.

KDKA Photojournalist Brian Smithmyer

Officer Sluganski was shot and killed in the line of duty on Monday afternoon in McKeesport while responding to a domestic incident.

McKeesport Police officer Sean Sluganski shot and killed in the line of duty 05:19

Another officer, Charles Thomas, was injured.

Police say that 32-year-old Johnathan Morris is facing charges of criminal homicide and other offenses related to the deadly shooting. 

By Ross Guidotti

Suspect charged with homicide

Johnathan Morris has been charged in connection with the shooting of two police officers in McKeesport. 

Officers Sean Sluganski and Charles Thomas were shot in McKeesport on Monday. Sluganski was killed while Thomas was injured.

Morris is charged with criminal homicide, attempted homicide, aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer, and aggravated assault, according to the charging documents obtained by KDKA-TV. 

Morris' mother, Candace Taylor, is a former McKeesport police officer, KDKA-TV has learned.

According to the criminal complaint, police were called to Morris' home after his mom called the police saying her son was "having a PTSD episode" and being "aggressive" toward her. Police said Morris' mom warned officers he had a gun. 

Police arrived at the scene, according to the complaint, and the mother told officers her son fled the home. He was later found running and an officer, identified later as Sluganski, said over the radio, "Watch his right hand in pocket, appears real heavy."  

Man charged in shooting death of McKeesport police officer 04:17

Another officer, later identified as Thomas, radioed in that shots were fired and he was hit, according to the complaint. He returned fire, shooting Morris in the leg.

The complaint says Morris then ran to the parking lot of the Uni-Mart on Versailles Avenue and told two people that he had been shot. While the two witnesses were helping him, according to the complaint, Morris shot at a third McKeesport officer. He was then taken into custody. 

Police said Monday that Morris was known to them. 

By Jennifer Borrasso

Prayer service for peace

A prayer service for peace was held hours after one police officer was killed and another was injured in a shooting in McKeesport. 

Parishioners and community members filled the pews inside St. Patrick Church on 32nd Street in McKeesport on Monday night. During the service, people asked for peace in the community and for themselves for the grief brought on by the shooting. 

A prayer service for peace was held on Feb. 6, 2023, in McKeesport.  KDKA

Nearly 100 people attended the event, which was put on to "support the McKeesport community." 

Those in attendance said they are praying for the families of both officers. 

Prayer service for peace held in McKeesport 02:12
By Royce Jones

Names of officers released

The McKeesport police chief identified the two officers shot Monday. 

Police Chief Adam Alfer identified the fallen officer as Sean Sluganski and the injured officer as Charles Thomas. Alfer said Thomas has been released from the hospital.

His full statement can be found below.

"The McKeesport Police Department is mourning the loss of Officer Sean Sluganski, 32, who died today in the line of duty. Officer Sluganski had served on the force for two years. He joined the department in January 2020 and was promoted to full-time in January 2021.

McKeesport Police officer Sean Sluganski was killed in the line of duty on Monday, December 6, 2023. Submitted

"Officer Charles Thomas, Jr., 35, was injured in the same incident today. He is a four-year member of the force. Officer Thomas has been discharged from the hospital and is at home recovering with his family.

McKeesport Police officer Charles Thomas was shot while responding to a domestic incident on Monday, December 6, 2023. Submitted

"This is a tragic loss for our department and our community. We have lost a friend, a trusted colleague and an officer whose passion was providing service to the public. At this time, we ask that you keep all of our officers and their families in your hearts, particularly the families of Officer Sluganski and Officer Thomas."

By Michael Guise

Procession taking officer's body from hospital

A procession is taking the fallen officer from UPMC McKeesport to the medical examiner's office in the Strip District. 

(Photo: NewsChopper 2/KDKA)
Police escort body of fallen officer 02:14
By Meghan Schiller

Officer treated at UPMC Mercy

The police officer "seriously injured" Monday in McKeesport was flown to UPMC Mercy Hospital, where sources tell KDKA-TV as many as 15 officers arrived to show support. 

The injured officer was brought to the hospital in critical condition after being shot in the face. At last check, the officer was in stable condition. 

The officer's family members are at the hospital. 

Officer being treated at UPMC Mercy 01:51
By Royce Jones

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, Gov. Josh Shapiro call for prayers

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey is calling for prayers after a shooting in McKeesport killed one police officer and injured another.

"Pittsburgh — please join me in praying for the family of the McKeesport Police Officer taken from us, the Officer injured during the tragic incident, and the entire community of McKeesport. We want each and every one of our officers to come home safely to their families every single day. Today serves as a reminder of the danger they face every time they put on the uniform. Pittsburgh is praying for the officer fighting for his life and we are sending our support to his family, friends, and the entire McKeesport Bureau of Police during this difficult time."

Governor Josh Shapiro said on Twitter, "Lori and I are praying for the family and loved ones of the McKeesport police officer who died in the line of duty today. May his memory be a blessing, and may this be a reminder of how the women and men of law enforcement put their lives on the line to serve their communities."

By Michael Guise

Police give more details on shooting, say suspect was also wounded

Allegheny County police gave an update on the shooting, confirming one officer was killed, another was wounded and the suspect was also shot. 

Superintendent Christopher Kearns said McKeesport officers were dispatched to Wilson Street around 12:11 p.m. for a domestic call and was warned the suspect might be armed. 

When officers got there, they found a suspect having a "mental health crisis," Kearns said. 

The suspect walked from Wilson Avenue to Grandview Avenue, and Kearns said when the suspect encountered the officers, he pulled out a handgun and shot them.

One of the officers was fatally wounded. Kearns said he was taken to UPMC but doctors couldn't save his life. 

The second officer was critically wounded and flown to the hospital but is now in stable condition, Kearns said. 

The suspect continued walking to the intersection of Versailles Avenue and Patterson Street, where he opened fire on a third officer. Kearns said the suspect was wounded in an exchange of gunfire. 

Officials declined to comment on what led up to the call, saying there was still an investigation. 

Neither of the officers' identities have been released. Officials said they're still in the process of notifying families. 

The suspect's identity hasn't been released either, but Kearns said he will face charges. He's in the hospital in stable condition. 

Officer killed, another injured and suspect shot in McKeesport 03:11
By Madeline Bartos

Officers to escort body of officer killed to medical examiner's office

Police officers from across the county are getting ready to escort the fallen officer's body from UPMC McKeesport to the Strip District in Pittsburgh, where the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office is located. 

Officers to escort body of officer killed to medical examiner's office 02:26

Officers at the scene told KDKA-TV the officer's body will be placed in an ambulance and escorted to the medical examiner's office.

Police officers from Pittsburgh, Elizabeth, West Elizabeth, Allegheny County and other departments are outside the hospital, which is down the hill from where this shooting happened earlier Monday. 

Police officers stand outside UPMC McKeesport on Feb. 6, 2023. KDKA
By Meghan Schiller

FOP says officers 'are heroes'

Joseph Regan, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Pennsylania State Lodge, issued a statement Monday, saying:

"These officers left their homes knowing it was their duty to protect and serve McKeesport regardless of the outcome. Today, they made sacrifices we hoped and prayed they would never need to make. They are heroes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by this horrific tragedy and to the McKeesport Police Department during this very difficult time."

By Michael Guise

Allegheny County Sheriff's Office: McKeesport is the 'heart' of the Mon Valley

The Allegheny County Sheriff's Office posted a statement on Facebook, saying McKeesport is in many ways the "heart" of the Mon Valley. 

"Today that heart is broken by senseless violence and another stark example of the danger that our law enforcement officers face every day, on every shift and on every call," the sheriff's office said. 

"Our office stands with the men and women of the McKeesport Police Department and on behalf of Sheriff Kevin M. Kraus and our entire staff, we extend our deepest sympathies to those impacted by today's shooting." 

By Madeline Bartos

Mayor's office releases statement confirming 1 officer killed, another 'seriously wounded'

The McKeesport mayor's office released a statement confirming one officer was killed and another was "seriously wounded."

The statement posted to Facebook said the officer was killed in the line of duty while responding to a reported domestic incident. 

The mayor's office did not release either of the officers' names but asked the community to keep the police department in their thoughts and respect the officers' families. 

By Madeline Bartos

UPMC McKeesport on lockdown

UPMC McKeesport is on lockdown after the shooting. 

Patients can still enter the emergency room, but the hospital is waiting on word from local law enforcement and public safety before lifting the lockdown. 

When asked if the suspect is being treated at the hospital, UPMC referred KDKA-TV's Meghan Schiller to McKeesport police. 

By Meghan Schiller

Lockdown lifted at McKeesport Area School District

All McKeesport Area School District schools and buildings were on lockdown because of "police activity" nearby, but the lockdown has since been lifted, the district said on Facebook

Dismissals will be on time, but the district said the dismissal pattern may be different because of closed roads.

By Madeline Bartos
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