EAST PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – An investigation is underway after a 17-year-old male was shot and killed by an East Pittsburgh police officer Tuesday night.
The shooting was caught on video by nearby residents and many are questioning why the officer shot the teen when he was running away.
"I understand in today's atmosphere, any time a young man is killed, there's cause for outrage in some areas," said Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough.
The teen was taken to McKeesport Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He has been identified as 17-year-old Antwon Rose.
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Sources tell KDKA's Jon Delano that the officer involved had only been on duty with the force for three weeks and was just sworn in at Tuesday evening's council meeting before going on duty. He was working part-time for the department.
According to police, officers initially responded to a shots fired called on Kirkpatrick Avenue in North Braddock on Tuesday night. When they arrived, they found a 22-year-old man had been shot in the abdomen.
The shooter fired nine .40-caliber rounds at the victim from a vehicle. The victim returned fire and struck the vehicle with multiple rounds.
Callers reported that a car was spotted fleeing the scene. Police spotted what they believed was the same car on Grandview Avenue in East Pittsburgh a short time later and pulled it over. The car had bullet holes in the rear windows.
RAW VIDEO: Police Offer New Details During Press Conference:
While an East Pittsburgh police officer was detaining the driver, two passengers ran from the car, including Rose.
The officer opened fire and Rose was struck by multiple rounds.
Police found two weapons inside the vehicle, but none on Rose's person.
"Why did they have to shoot when he's running away? Where is the justification in that? How were you scared when he's running away from you," a neighbor Selena Brookins said.
KDKA's Amy Wadas Reports:
"I have questions about why and how that transpired and what steps should've been taken to make the ultimate result would be in death," another neighbor Bridget Creach said.
Allegheny County Police promise a thorough investigation.
"I would urge that people in the community give us a chance to conduct an objective investigation, and I guarantee that that's what they'll get from the Allegheny County Police," said Supt. McDonough.
Rose worked at The Free Store in Braddock, which is run by Mayor John Fetterman's wife, Gisele.
"He was a funny, goofy kid who loved chasing children around the store," Gisele Fetterman said.
Police are still looking for the third person that was in that car and took off. Police are asking that he turn himself in.
Meanwhile, the officer has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.
Rose was a student in the Woodland Hills School District.
The school district issued the following statement:
"The Woodland Hills School District acknowledges the gun violence that occurred recently within the neighborhoods that our district serves. We are urging the communities to help us call a ceasefire to end this gun violence to keep our community safe for our children. We can confirm that the victim of Tuesday's shooting was a Woodland Hills student and that these events will affect our children and community. Grief counselors will ate available at our administration building at Fairless, 531 Jones Ave, North Braddock, for any student, parent or community member. Our thoughts are with the victim's family and the entire Woodland Hills Community.
Rose also appeared in a campaign commercial for John Fetterman last fall.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto issued the following statement:
"Any loss of life is tragic, and especially the loss of life of a child. This is a devastating situation and I am saddened for Antwon Rose and his family.
While Tuesday's shooting was not within the city's official borders it impacts all of us in the Pittsburgh region, and particularly those in the African American community. In my reactions to the incident I should have acknowledged that these shootings affect all of us, no matter where we live, and for that I am sorry.
Tuesday night I was receiving numerous calls and messages asking me to respond to the involvement of police in a shooting in East Pittsburgh borough, and at the time I was attempting to clarify for the national public that the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, which I ultimately oversee, were not involved.
This was never intended to be, nor should it be, the focus of news coverage. I answer people when they reach out to me seeking factual information, just as all elected officials should be expected to do."
Anyone with information or video of any portion of the incident is asked to contact the Allegheny County Police. Callers to the department's tip line can remain anonymous. The number is 833-ALL-TIPS (833-255-8477).
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