Pa. K-9 officer shoots gun-brandishing suspect

By Nate Guidry
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

P-1 Editor's Note --
First and foremost, P-1 commends the officer on winning this situation and keeping himself and his K-9 partner safe.

In general, proper use of K-9s involves some complicated decision-making. Like any force option, we have to make a split-second decision, and weigh many factors in that split second. Our Street Survival Seminar instructors will tell you: A K-9 is a tool, but it's a very expensive tool. We don't send them on suicide missions.

KNOXVILLE, Pa. — A 26-year-old Knoxville man was in critical condition at UPMC Presbyterian after he was shot once in the chest by a city police officer Downtown about 6 p.m. Monday.

Terrence Allen, who brandished a gun during a foot chase before the shooting, faces aggravated assault and narcotics charges as a result of yesterday's incident.

Mr. Allen was also being sought on an arrest warrant in connection with the killing of Terrance Williams of Knoxville, last year.

Police Chief Nate Harper said a canine officer was patrolling Downtown when he noticed a man who fit the description of a smash-and-grab thief who had been working the area for several weeks.

The man fled when the officer approached him. At one point the suspect pulled a gun and ran with it in his right hand, the pursing officer repeatedly telling him to drop the weapon. but he refused, according to the chief.

Chief Harper said the police dog bit Mr. Allen on his left arm while the weapon was still visible in his right hand.

When Mr. Allen turned and faced the officer near Wood Street and First Avenue, the officer fired one shot.

Mr. Allen's gun was loaded, and an extra clip of ammunition was found in his pocket. He also was carrying a quantity of suspected marijuana and crack cocaine, police said.

Police said witnesses told them they heard the officer telling Mr. Allen to drop his weapon.

Police said the officer involved in the shooting has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Copyright 2007 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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