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Clairton Officer In Critical Condition After Shooting

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A police officer remains in critical condition after being shot multiple times Monday night.

Officer James Kuzak was shot twice in the chest and once in the arm while responding to a home invasion call in Clairton.

According to police, the incident happened in the 800-block of Miller Avenue around 10:45 p.m.

"When the officers responded, the involved parties were exiting the house and fired shots at the officers, striking one of the officers," Allegheny County Police Lieutenant Andrew Schurman said.

Officer Kuzak was wearing a bullet-proof vest at the time of the shooting. However, according to sources, two of the bullets traveled into his chest cavity.

Sources added that Officer Kuzak may have suffered a punctured lung, broken clavicle and a possible spinal injury.

"There's a possibility he may be paralyzed," Allegheny County Police Supt. Charles Moffatt said. "That's still being evaluated by the medical people."

According to the Clairton Police Chief, Officer Kuzak had to undergo surgery early Tuesday morning. However, he would not give any additional information about his condition.

Officer Kuzak's aunt and uncle spoke briefly outside UPMC Mercy Hospital with KDKA-TV's Heather Abraham. They said their nephew is surrounded by friends, family and fellow officers.

They also said he has been moved to a trauma unit. Sources close to the officer say Kuzak is alert and talking. He's reportedly telling people he was ambushed and that his legs "feel funny."

A fund has been established for Clairton Police Officer James Kuzak. Donations can be mailed to:

James Kuzak Benefit Fund
P.O. Box 225
Clairton, PA 15025

Donations can also be made at any PNC Bank branch.


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