Pittsburgh, PA — An extremely disturbing video was shared with the Free Thought Project Tuesday night which shows Allegheny County Police in East Pittsburgh shoot and kill a 17-year-old boy as he fled a traffic stop on foot. The boy was a passenger in a vehicle that had been stopped by police.
According to police, they responded to calls of a shooting in the neighborhood of North Braddock. When they arrived, they found a 22-year-old man who'd been shot and witnesses reported a vehicle fleeing the scene.
“At approximately 8:20 PM, County 9-1-1 received multiple calls reporting that shots were fired and that a male had been shot in the 800 block of Kirkpatrick Avenue,” police said. “Callers reported that a vehicle was seen fleeing the scene, and were able to provide a description of that vehicle. North Braddock Police and paramedics responded and found a 22-year-old male who had been shot. He was been transported to a local trauma center where he was treated and released.”
Police then found a vehicle fitting the description of the car which allegedly fled the scene, so they pulled over the driver. As police were placing the driver into handcuffs, the 17-year-old child and another person exited the vehicle and took off running. This decision would prove to be fatal for the 17-year-old.
For no reason, police then opened fire on the two fleeing suspects. The 17-year-old boy was shot in the back and he immediately fell to the ground.
After two shots are heard, the person recording the video gasps and can be heard saying, “why are they shooting at him? … Why are they shooting? All they did was run and they’re shooting at them?”
According to Allegheny County Police:
Information on the vehicle that fled the North Braddock scene was put out over the air for neighboring police departments to assist/respond. An East Pittsburgh police officer saw a vehicle matching the description on Grandview Avenue which also had ballistics damage to the rear window. The officer stopped the vehicle near Grandview and Howard Street in East Pittsburgh. The officer took the driver into custody. While he was putting the driver into handcuffs, two other occupants ran from the car. One individual – a 17-year-old male – was shot by police. He was transported to McKeesport Hospital where he was declared deceased. Further information on the deceased, including name, will be released by the Allegheny County Office of the Medical Examiner once formal identification has been made and the next of kin notified.
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To show how unnecessary the shooting was, police are asking for the third person—who escaped—to turn himself in to let them know what happened.
"ACPD Superintendent Coleman McDonough is asking that he turn himself in so that he can give a comprehensive description of what occurred this evening,” police said in the press release.
“Anyone having information on these incidents, or video of any portion of the incidents, is asked to contact the Allegheny County Police Department. Callers to the ACPD Tip Line can remain anonymous – the number is 833.ALL.TIPS (833.255.8477). The department can also be reached via its social media sites,” the county police department said. In a Facebook post, the department added, “Please note that information is still being gathered regarding these incidents and is subject to change. Additional information will be provided as we are able.”
Indicating that the boy who was shot was unarmed, police have not stated whether or not they found a weapon on the scene. Rest assured, had there been a weapon, they would have stated this fact immediately. Also, according to witnesses the boy was unarmed.
As the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette reports, Pennsylvania law allows police officers to use deadly force to prevent someone from escaping arrest if that person has committed a forcible felony, possesses a deadly weapon or if the person has indicated he or she will endanger human life or inflict bodily injury if not arrested.
Whether or not this person posed a threat remains unknown. Even if this draconian law was used, as the police report states, officers on the scene couldn't have known whether or not this boy had committed a crime—nor did they have enough time to deduce whether or not he was imminent threat to others.
In the video below, what we see is a classic case of shoot first and ask questions later. Sadly, this cost a young man his life.