By Paula Reed Ward
PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh police Officer Michelle Auge described for a jury this morning the events of the early morning hours of April 11, 2013, leading up to when her partner, Officer Morgan Jenkins, was shot and paralyzed.
James Hill, 25, of Homewood is on trial before Common Pleas Judge David R. Cashman on charges of attempted homicide and related counts. Court recessed for the day at lunchtime and will resume Thursday morning.
Officer Auge testified that she and Officer Jenkins were trying to stop Hill, who was driving erratically about 1:30 a.m., when he fled from them. They chased him through Homewood before he crashed his car.
The officers approached Hill with guns drawn, she said, but instead of complying with their commands, he got out of his car, began fighting with them and fled on foot.
Officer Auge said that she sustained multiple blows to her head — both from Hill's fists and from striking the door jamb of the car.
She attempted to shock Hill with her TASER, but one prong went into her leg and one into the suspect's. Because all three people were intertwined with each other, she said, they all felt the electrical impulse.
Hill was able to break away, and Officer Jenkins chased him. Officer Auge testified that she called in to dispatch to report the suspect's description and their location.
She also turned off the patrol car siren and peered inside Hill's car, according to a video recording taken from the officers' dash camera.
It was a short time later that she said she heard an exchange of gunfire and began to run in the same direction as the men.
As she neared them, Officer Auge said she could see muzzle flash, and she fired three rounds in the direction of the suspect.
Then she heard Officer Jenkins say, "I'm hit.'"
"Morgan was saying he was hit in his side and couldn't feel his legs," she testified. "My concern was my partner."
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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