11/11/2007

Pittsburgh man tries to stab K-9 and officer; suspect fatally shot

By Bobby Kerlik
The Pittsburgh Tribune

PITTSBURGH An eight-year veteran Pittsburgh police officer shot and killed a Hill District man Saturday, police said.

Aucy Andrews, 59, was shot about 4:45 p.m. near the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Van Braam Street, Uptown, after police said he attempted to stab a police dog and began to approach a police officer with the knife.

A friend of Andrews said he could not hear well and was not known to cause trouble.

"I've known the man for 35 years," said Dan Foster, 60, of the Hill District. "He was a loner and very poor. How do you justify shooting him? Is that man's life worth less than a dog?

"When that dog jumped on him, he was defending himself. What's wrong with using a Taser?"

Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper declined to release the officer's name but said he was placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure after a police shooting.

"I heard at least five or six shots," said Rose Essa, 75, who lives near the intersection. "I came outside and saw the gentleman laying (on the sidewalk). A police dog was right near him."

Harper said police received a call of a fight at the intersection. When police arrived, they found a 32-year-old man bleeding from a stab wound to the neck.

The man and his fiancee identified Andrews who was walking up the street as the person who stabbed him. A police officer yelled at Andrews to stop and when he did not respond to verbal commands, the officer released a police dog after him, Harper said.

When the dog grabbed Andrews' arm, he pulled a knife and tried to stab it, Harper said. The officer then called off the dog and Andrews "advanced toward the officer" with a knife in his hand, which prompted the officer to open fire, Harper said.

Andrews died at the scene, Harper said.

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office will investigate the shooting, Harper said.

Harper declined to answer questions and did not say if the officer was carrying a Taser, a nonlethal stun gun typically carried by Pittsburgh police. The officer has been a K-9 officer for the past two years.

The dog was not injured, Harper said.

Copyright 2007 Pittburgh Tribune

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