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2 Officers, Suspect Shot In Homewood - 3 Hour Standoff Ends In Gunfire

February 24, 2002

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2 Officers, Suspect Shot In Homewood - 3 Hour Standoff Ends In Gunfire

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PITTSBURGH -- Two Pittsburgh Police officers and a gunman were shot Wednesday evening after a three-hour standoff in Homewood.

Zone 6 Cmdr. Dom Costa was shot once in the shoulder and was in serious condition as of Thursday morning at UPMC Presbyterian.

The other officer, Tom Huerbin, a seven-year veteran of the force, was shot three times in the chest when he rushed the gunman. He wore a bulletproof vest and suffered chest bruises, but none of the shots penetrated his vest, police said. He was released from the hospital Wednesday night.

The suspect was identified as Cecil Brookins, 46.

WTAE-TV reported that police were attempting to serve a warrant at a residence in the 7200 block of Hermitage Street, near the intersection with North Homewood Avenue.

At about 4:30 p.m., Brookins went to the roof of the building with a gun, WTAE's Shannon Perrine reported. Negotiators were apparently able to convince him to put down the weapon at least once.

However, at about 7:30 p.m., the man opened fire. Deputy Chief Charles Moffatt said that Brookins had placed his gun on a chimney on the roof and entered the house, police said.

Once inside, Brookins said he wasn't going to allow police to search him. Brookins pulled a .38 caliber handgun from behind his back and shot Costa once in the shoulder, police said.

Huerbin then rushed the suspect but was unable to draw his gun and was shot three times in the chest. He was protected by the bulletproof vest he was wearing, police said.

A third officer shot the suspect five times.

"We ask our police officers to do remarkable things," Mayor Tom Murphy said at a news conference Wednesday night.

"When the one officer was shot, this officer rushed at the man, into the face of a gun going off, and took three shots in the chest to try to stop the situation. He didn't shoot him, he went at him without a gun in his hand," Murphy said.

Police said they found two other guns in the house and more than 1,000 bags of heroin.

The suspect faces charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, weapons violations and drug offenses.

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