10/30/2006

Pa. officer shoots driver after pursuit

By Karen Kane
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Copyright 2006 P.G. Publishing Co.

A Beltzhoover man was shot twice by a police officer early yesterday after he pointed a weapon at the officer, according to Pittsburgh Major Crimes Commander Thomas Stangrecki.

Jamaar Blakey, 22, was in serious condition yesterday at Mercy Hospital and was facing several criminal charges.

Cmdr. Stangrecki said the incident began at a traffic stop around 3:30 a.m. in the Knoxville section of the city.

According to his account, two city police officers were en route to another call when they noticed a vehicle in front of their police cruiser make an abrupt left turn from Bausman Street onto Ibis Way without signaling. The vehicle then took off at a high rate of speed.

As a pursuit ensued, Mr. Blakey ran "some stop signs" and eventually crashed into a stop sign and fence at Zara Street and Ibis Way. The commander said he didn't know how fast the vehicles were traveling before the crash.

"The vehicle was badly damaged, but he gunned the engine and went a little way up the alleyway. The driver gets out of the vehicle with a gun in his hand and takes off running," Cmdr. Stangrecki recounted.

One officer gave chase while the other worked the radio for assistance. Following a short foot pursuit, the officer shouted to Mr. Blakey to drop the weapon, later determined to be a stolen .45-caliber pistol.

"The suspect turned around and pointed the weapon at the pursuing officer. The officer fired twice at the suspect, hitting him in the right ear and the left chest," the commander said.

Mr. Blakey did not discharge his weapon.

Police would not identify the officers involved in the incident but said the one who fired his weapon has been placed on administrative leave until further notice, a routine move in any shooting by an officer. The Allegheny County district attorney's office is supervising the investigation.

Mr. Blakey has a criminal record, but police would not release the details, saying it's contrary to department policy.

Mr. Blakey faces the following charges: a variety of vehicle code violations, fleeing and eluding police, aggravated assault, carrying a firearm without a license, drunken driving, reckless endangerment and a former convict possessing a firearm.

Karen Kane can be reached at or 724-772-9180.

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