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Police, Family Mourning Fallen Canonsburg Officer

CANONSBURG (KDKA) – Dozens of officers gathered at Canonsburg Hospital Thursday morning to mourn the loss of one of their own.

Canonsburg Police Officer Scott Bashioum, 52, of Washington, was fatally shot while responding to a domestic dispute call around 3:30 a.m.

He was transported to Canonsburg Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 4 a.m.

After he was brought to the hospital, family members and a number of officers from across the area arrived as well.

A police procession left the hospital with Officer Bashioum's body around 9:45 a.m.

Officials held a press conference Thursday morning, where they spoke highly of Officer Bashioum.

"We've lost a friend, a comrade. Our hearts and sympathy go out to the family and all our folks in blue," Canonsburg Mayor David H. Rhome said.

"He was a great guy, a loving father, a loving husband," Canonsburg Police Chief Alex Coghill said. "He was always willing to do whatever he had to do. Never once did he ever say no to me for anything. He's just one of those guys that was always there for you whenever you needed anything."

Officer Bashioum, a father of four, had been with the Canonsburg Police Department for seven years.

"Devastation, upset, disappointment, I don't know. I just can't believe it. I'm dismayed, I'm everything. When I saw that this morning, I started crying," a retired officer said.

KDKA's John Shumway Reports:

In the tiny town of Slovan, just a few miles from his home, Bashioum's service in Iraq is honored on a plaque outside Barto Post 6553 of the VFW.

"He was our bingo caller, number one. He would talk to everyone, and he was good," Vince Rodi, of VFW 6553 Solvan.

Bashioum has been a fixture around the town, often with one of his four children in tow.

Cindy Kennedy had tears rolling down her face as she talked about her friend.

"Couldn't ask for a better person. I'm just sick over what happened," she said. "Always smiling, laughing, gives me a big hug and a kiss, how you doing. We're gonna miss him."

The Slovan Volunteer Fire Department is draped in black. Bashioum started there as a volunteer when he was a teenager.

"When I joined, I was 16 and Scott was my mentor," said Slovan VFD Assistant Chief A.J. Mondin. "Just out there to help anybody. When you called him, he was there."

The Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police issued the following statement:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased officer. He is a hero who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting the community he served. We honor his bravery and unselfishness in the face of danger. We also join the Canonsburg community in praying for the healing of the wounded officer. We ask all Pennsylvanians to pray for these officers, their families and their communities."

Sen. Pat Toomey released the following statement:

"I can't say it enough: our law enforcement officers bravely sacrifice their safety every day to protect our communities. This morning we are again reminded of the dangers they face."

Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik released this statement:

"My heart and my prayers are with all of those suffering because of the terrible tragedy this morning in Canonsburg. I invite all the faithful of the Diocese of Pittsburgh to pray with me for the souls and the loved ones of the deceased victims: Officer Scott Bashioum and the woman and unborn child whom the officers were attempting to rescue. Our prayers also go up for the survivor officer; may God grant him a full recovery. We pray for the shooter and his surviving family. And finally, we are grateful for the first responders who continually risk their lives to protect all of us from harm. May God grant them protection, wisdom and courage, and hold their families close."

Officer Bashioum was also a volunteer firefighter with the Smith Township Volunteer Fire Department.

Officer James Saieva was also shot and is in stable condition at Allegheny General Hospital. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

KDKA's Paul Martino Reports:

Meanwhile, on this quiet street in Houston where Officer Saieva lives, all agree, he's a good neighbor, good father and good cop.

"Loves to be with his kids. Do things with his kids, do things with the community," said Tracy Pareso, a neighbor. "He was always with the young kids in Canonsburg, trying to put them on the right path if they were doing something wrong.

Another neighbor, Joseph Collins, knows something about being in harm's way. He served in the Marines.

"They're heroes. They are. They put their life on the line for everyone," said Collins. "I just don't understand how this can even happen around here, peaceful neighborhood and everything, and then this out of nowhere."

Retired Canonsburg firefighter Rich Simms isn't just Saieva's neighbor, he worked with him while serving in the fire department.

"It was great working with him. It's just a shame things like this happen," said Simms. "You count everyone, policemen, firemen as family. That's the way it's always been. It's real tough. I'm still shook up."

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