Three Pa. officers killed, suspect arrested
Editor's note: According to some reports obtained but not yet confirmed by PoliceOne, the gunman in this incident was wearing body armor and lying in wait to ambush officers responding to a domestic disturbance call Saturday. What is presently known is that three officers were killed and two others injured in the gun battle. We will continue to post updates as additional information becomes available.
By Ramit Plushnick-Masti
PITTSBURGH — A man opened fire on officers during a domestic disturbance call Saturday morning, killing three of them, a police official said. Friends said he feared the Obama administration was poised to ban guns.
Three officers were killed, said a police official at the scene who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Police spokeswoman Diane Richard would only say that at least five officers were wounded, but wouldn't give any other details.
The man who fired at the officers was arrested after a several-hour standoff. One witness reported hearing hundreds of shots.
The shootings occurred just two weeks after four police officers March 21 in Oakland, Calif., in the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001.
Police did not immediately release the gunman's identity, but his friends at the scene described him as a young man who thought the Obama administration would ban guns.
One friend, Edward Perkovic, said the gunman feared "the Obama gun ban that's on the way" and "didn't like our rights being infringed upon." Another longtime friend, Aaron Vire, said he feared that President Obama was going to take away his rights, though he said he "wasn't violently against Obama."
Perkovic, a 22-year-old who said he was the gunman's best friend, said he got a call at work from him in which he said, "Eddie, I am going to die today. ... Tell your family I love them and I love you."
Perkovic said: "I heard gunshots and he hung up. ... He sounded like he was in pain, like he got shot."
Vire, 23, said the gunman once had an Internet talk show but that it wasn't successful. Vire said his friend had an AK-47 rifle and several powerful handguns, including a .357 Magnum.
The officers were called to the home in the Stanton Heights neighborhood at about 7 a.m., Richard said.
Tom Moffitt, 51, a city firefighter who lives two blocks away, said he heard about the shooting on his scanner and came to the scene, where he heard "hundreds, just hundreds of shots. And not just once - several times."
Rob Gift, 45, who lives a block away, said he heard rapid gunfire as he was letting his dog out.
He said the neighborhood of well-kept single-family houses and manicured lawns is home to many police officers, firefighters, paramedics and other city workers.
"It's just a very quiet neighborhood," Gift said.