*Protests erupted outside of the East Pittsburgh Police station over the death of 17-year-old Antwon Rose, who was shot and killed by a police officer late Tuesday as he fled a traffic stop related to a separate shooting.
As previously reported, investigators said they came across a car matched the description of a vehicle being sought in a nonfatal shooting in a town a few miles away. An East Pittsburgh officer, who has not been identified, was taking the driver into custody when the two passengers, including Rose, took off running.
The Allegheny County medical examiner’s office said Rose, who worked for the wife of a candidate for lieutenant governor, died at the hospital. The brief report released Wednesday did not list a cause of death or say how many times or where Rose was shot.
Investigators, however, have said Rose was shot three times. They also said nobody fired a weapon at the officer during the stop and the teen did not have a weapon on him.
The gathering for Rose on Wednesday night saw demonstrators praying, chanting, marching and calling for an end to violence and police brutality, KDKA reported.
— Jizzy Gillespie (@serial1337) June 20, 2018
One video, as The Tribune-Review reported, showed a cop car attempting to push through the crowd; others showed protesters linking arms as well as shouting for justice.
A Police Cruiser attempts to push through the crowd as a rally shuts down Braddock Avenue a day after an East Hills Police Officer shot 17-year-old Antwon Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student during a traffic stop. @TribLIVE #AntwonRose pic.twitter.com/hJsCyUeJcP
— Andrew Russell (@RussBurgh) June 20, 2018
The protests continued even after heavy rain swept through the area. Another protest is scheduled for Thursday at noon in front of the Allegheny County courthouse.
“From all accounts, he was a generous, hard-working and highly promising student. Affirmations of his generosity of spirit and genuine good heartedness have begun pouring in from all corners of the East Pittsburgh community where he lives,” his family’s attorney, D. Lee Merritt, said in a statement.
Merritt added: “We know very little about the circumstances surrounding his death at this early stage. We must emphasize that rumors of him being involved in a separate shooting are unsubstantiated. We know that he was not armed at the time he was shot down, that he posed no immediate threat to anyone, and that, significantly, the driver of the vehicle he occupied was released from police custody. The officer involved in this shooting had just been sworn into the Pittsburgh PD roughly three hours before this encounter. These facts, without more, simply leave very little room to justify the use of deadly force by this officer. Additional information concerning the background of the offending officer and the facts available to him at the time of the shooting is needed as we determine the appropriate action in this matter.”
Allegheny County Police Department Superintendent Coleman McDonough said of the separate shooting incident: “An investigation revealed that the shooter fired nine .40 caliber rounds at the victim from a passing vehicle. The victim also returned fire at the vehicle.”
He also revealed two firearms were recovered from the suspect’s vehicle.
McDonough noted there are circumstances when Pennsylvania law permits officers to use lethal force on a fleeing suspect. It’s allowed to prevent death or serious injury to an officer or another person or if the fleeing suspect has used or threatened violence or possesses a lethal weapon.
County police were called in to conduct an independent investigation, which is standard procedure, McDonough said. He said the officer has been placed on administrative leave.