An unarmed 17-year-old boy was shot and killed by the East Pittsburgh police on Tuesday night as he tried to flee a traffic stop, law enforcement officials said on Wednesday.
The medical examiner’s office has not identified the victim, but Mayor William Peduto of Pittsburgh said the teenager’s name was Antwon Rose. He was a passenger in a car that had been pulled over because it matched the description of a vehicle that fled an earlier shooting, the Allegheny County Police Department said in a statement.
A video that recorded the shooting and was posted on Facebook shows two people running from police vehicles as three shots are fired. One of the people, later identified as the 17-year-old, appears to fall to the ground.
“Why are they shooting?” the woman recording the video says. “All they did was run and they’re shooting at them!”
The Allegheny County Police Department, which is investigating the encounter, said that two firearms were found on the floor of the car. When asked if the teenager was found with a weapon on his person, Superintendent McDonough said he was not.
The police said multiple 911 calls earlier on Tuesday night reported a shooting in North Braddock, Pa., that had wounded a 22-year-old man in the abdomen. He was treated at a trauma center and later released, the police said.
Investigators said a gunman in a passing vehicle had fired nine .40 caliber rounds at the 22-year-old, who returned fire.
The 911 callers provided a description of a vehicle they saw fleeing the scene, the police said, and an East Pittsburgh officer saw a similar vehicle, a silver Chevy Cruze that appeared to have ballistics damage to its rear window.
“I’m very confident that that was the vehicle involved in the shooting,” said Coleman McDonough, the Allegheny County police superintendent.
The officer stopped the car at 8:40 p.m. and took the driver into custody.
“While he was putting the driver into handcuffs, two other occupants ran from the car,” the Allegheny County police said. An East Pittsburgh officer started shooting, striking the 17-year-old “several times.”
The teenager was brought to U.P.M.C. McKeesport hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:19 p.m., Superintendent McDonough said.
“We believe he was hit three times,” he added. “He was hit in various places on his body.”
Mayor Peduto of Pittsburgh said in a statement, “This is a devastating situation and I am saddened for Antwon Rose and his family.”
Gisele Barreto Fetterman, whose husband is the mayor of Braddock, Pa., said on Facebook that Antwon had volunteered at the Free Store, an organization she created that gives away surplus and donated items to those in need. When he was 14, she wrote, “and only a few weeks into summer vacation,” he asked about volunteering at the Free Store, and he “was scheduled to return this summer.”
She added, “His life was just starting, he was part of a wonderful family and he was SO LOVED by so many and he didn’t deserve this.”
The driver of the car was later released after being interviewed.
“At the time we did not feel that charging was called for,” Superintendent McDonough said.
The police are still searching for the second person who ran from the officers.
Superintendent McDonough asked that he turn himself in “so that he can give a comprehensive description of what occurred this evening,” the police statement said.
The officer who shot the teenager has been placed on administrative leave, officials said.