Investigators in Pennsylvania are looking for the man who they say killed a police officer after a traffic stop Friday night.
Officer Brian Shaw, a 25-year-old patrolman, was shot just after 8 p.m. in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, about 20 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Authorities said the suspect, 29-year-old Rahmael Sal Holt, got out of his car and ran away after Shaw pulled him over. He shot the officer during the chase, New Kensington Police Chief James Klein said at a news conference.
Shaw died at a hospital. He had been with the police department for less than a year.
A visibly upset Klein addressed reporters for just less than a minute, taking a deep breath before he started speaking. He did not take questions.
“I’m asking anybody, anybody with any information, as minute as they think it might be, please, please give us a call. We need to find the person that did this. Thank you very much,” Klein said before he walked away with a few uniformed officers.
Authorities have remained tight-lipped about the investigation. Police have not said why Holt was pulled over, or why he ran away. It also remains unclear how many shots were fired, or whether one of them came from the officer’s gun.
Nicole Drum told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review that she was sitting in her living room Friday night when she heard gunshots just outside her New Kensington home. She looked outside and saw Shaw fall to the ground and ran out to help him. Drum said she heard at least six shots, two of which hit her house.
“I was trying to talk to him,” Drum said. “He wasn’t responding.”
The Drum home had a surveillance camera mounted under the second-story eave, Wayne Drum told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. He said investigators had taken his hard drive to see what the camera had captured.
Another neighbor, Brad Larocca, said he looked out the window after hearing gunshots and saw the officer struggling to sit up.
“I don’t know if he was trying to talk,” Larocca told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. “He was gasping for air.”
Multiple law enforcement agencies and several residents have offered a total of $43,500 to anyone who can provide information leading to Holt’s capture.
Holt has a lengthy criminal history that stretches to at least 2007. Court records show he had pleaded guilty on drug and gun charges, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct
Shaw began working for the New Kensington Police Department in June, the Associated Press reported. He also worked as a part-time officer for three other towns.
Shaw left behind not only his parents, but also his brother, grandmother and girlfriend, according to his obituary. He loved working out, hunting and playing with his dogs, Satie May and Guts. He was also a fan of sports and enjoyed playing soccer and football.
He graduated from Burrell High School and attended Slippery Rock University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and played football for four years. He also graduated from the Allegheny County Police Academy.
“Our hearts are broken this morning as we mourn the loss of former Rock football player Brian Shaw, who was killed last night while serving as a police officer in New Kensington,” the university’s athletics department said Saturday on Twitter. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Shaw family and The Rock football brotherhood.”
A procession to move Shaw’s body to the Rusiewicz Funeral Home in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania, where the officer lived, took place Saturday morning. Residents, many of whom carried American flags, and firefighters, all wearing their gear, waited on the streets to pay their respects.
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