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Officials: Man With Gun Sparks SWAT Incident On North Side

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A SWAT situation on Pittsburgh's North Side ended peacefully after some frightening moments involving a woman and two small children.

It all started around 7:40 p.m. in the 800 block of Spring Garden Avenue and Turtle Way.

Police say the woman and children were upstairs in a home along Spring Garden Avenue when a man a floor below fired at least one round inside the residence.

Fortunately, the woman and kids were not hurt, but it appeared that they had no way out and police didn't want to take any chances.

"A woman and the two children were upstairs, and the report was that one male had fired shots into the ceiling from the first floor into the second floor, so given the uncertainty, SWAT was called out," said Chris Togneri, of the Pittsburgh Public Safety Department.

SWAT negotiated with the man, and he and another man walked out of the house and were placed in handcuffs and taken into police custody.

Later on, the woman and the kids came outside.

According to the criminal complaint, the suspect has been identified as 26-year-old Jason O'Hara. The other man placed in handcuffs at the scene was determined to be the homeowner. Through the course of their investigation, it was determined the homeowner was not a suspect.

jason ohara
(Photo Courtesy: Allegheny County Jail)

The woman and her kids had moved into the house within the past month. The gun had been the subject of several arguments between O'Hara, the homeowner and the woman.

The homeowner told police he had asked O'Hara to get rid of the gun on multiple occasions. He said he was in the living room with O'Hara when the gun went off. Then, O'Hara left the house and stashed the gun inside a vehicle in a vacant lot behind the home.

During questioning, O'Hara initially denied knowing anything about a gun. When police informed him that there were multiple witnesses, O'Hara said he didn't want to get into any trouble and would lead police to where he hid the gun.

He told officers he thought he had cleared the chamber and was cleaning the gun when it went off. O'Hara also told police he obtained the gun from an unidentified person because he felt the area was dangerous.

Police obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and recovered an Ithaca 1911 .45-caliber handgun with an "obliterated" serial number. Officers searched the home and were unable to find a bullet hole.

O'Hara was transported to the Allegheny County Jail and is facing a list of charges including, possession of a firearm with an altered manufacturer's number, discharging a firearm into an occupied structure and four counts of recklessly endangering another person.


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