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Death of Pittsburgh man who died during Garfield standoff ruled a homicide

Death of man who died during standoff ruled a homicide
Death of man who died during standoff ruled a homicide 03:07

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The death of the Pittsburgh man who died during an hours-long standoff with law enforcement in the Garfield neighborhood in August has been ruled a homicide.

On Wednesday, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the death of William Hardison Jr. a homicide. The report says Hardison died of gunshots to the torso and upper body. 

The report is consistent and confirms details that KDKA-TV reported on Monday. Sources told KDKA-TV that state police are close to wrapping up the investigation and will soon send a report to the DA for review. All 72 law enforcement officers who were put on leave afterward are now back on the job, and sources say while those 72 law enforcement officers fired around 4,000 rounds, the man on the other end of the gun battle had just two guns and fired only dozens of rounds.

Sources now say Hardison fired fewer than 100 rounds from two guns: a rifle and a handgun. Police also found a few cans of gasoline inside his home.

Hardison was shot multiple times, but it is unclear which shot killed him. None of the gunshots were self-inflicted. 

Police said their attempts to make contact with Hardison and bring the situation to a peaceful end were met either by silence or that barrage of bullets. The Allegheny County Sheriff's Office said deputies were at the home to serve an eviction notice.

The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office released a statement, saying:

"A finding of homicide means the death was unnatural. We are awaiting a final report from the PA State Police, the independent investigating agency.  We will make our determination whether the homicide was criminal after receiving the PSP report and conducting a thorough review of all the evidence and all reports."

An Allegheny County police spokesperson said, "We review all use of force incidents and we are also going to conduct a critical incident review."

A Pittsburgh Public Safety spokesperson said, "Critical Incident Reviews are internal. They focus on whether officers adhered to all policies and procedures. The results will not be made public."

The sheriff's office says there was a debrief and the deputies assigned to the eviction case had body cameras.  

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