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East Pittsburgh police officer fatally shot 17-year-old Antwon Rose fleeing traffic stop

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(CNN) -- Hours after being sworn in on the local force Tuesday, a suburban Pittsburgh officer fatally shot a 17-year-old who ran when police stopped a vehicle suspected in a shooting, according to authorities and a local mayor.

Antown Rose poem

"I am confused and afraid." The words of #AntwonRose emerge days after his death. Woodland Hills School District released a poem written by Antwon Rose. He was fatally shot running away from an East Pittsburgh police officer Tuesday

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office and a family attorney identified the victim as Antwon Rose II, of Rankin. Rose, who is African-American, died at a hospital. He had been a passenger in the car suspected of being involved in a shooting earlier Tuesday in a nearby community, Allegheny County Police said Wednesday.

INSTAGRAM Meek Mill on Antwon Rose II

Meek Mill Instagram.

Protesters on Wednesday converged on East Pittsburgh, the borough southeast of Pittsburgh where the shooting occurred.

Sometime before 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, an unidentified person in a vehicle fired nine .40-caliber rounds at a 22-year-old in North Braddock borough, Allegheny County Police said. The victim, who returned fire, was struck and taken to a hospital, where he was treated and released.

Witnesses, including one who flagged down a police officer, described the vehicle in the shooting. Thirteen minutes later, an East Pittsburgh officer saw a vehicle they say matched the witnesses' description, a silver Chevy Cruze. The officer followed the car and stopped it around 8:40 p.m., according to authorities.

The officer ordered the driver out of the car and onto the ground, Allegheny County police said. Rose and an unidentified passenger "bolted" from the vehicle, and the East Pittsburgh officer fired at them, striking Rose, Allegheny County Police said.

A witness to the shooting captured it on video that was posted on Facebook.

In the video, one police SUV is seen stopped in the middle of the street as another police car pulls up behind it. Two people are seen running from the Chevy Cruze, and within seconds what appears to be three shots ring out. The two people appear to drop to the ground.

The woman who recorded the video is heard saying: "Why are they shooting at him?"

"All they did was run and they're shooting at them," the woman said.

The driver of the vehicle was later released, Allegheny County Police said. Authorities are still searching for the other passenger.

Rose was unarmed, Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough told reporters. Two firearms were recovered from the floor of the vehicle, McDonough said.

McDonough said he was "very confident" the car the officer stopped was the one involved in the shooting, pointing to "ballistic damage to the rear window."

Based on witness statements, McDonough said, he believes Rose was given verbal commands, but he didn't know what the specific command was.

Police: Officer fired 3 times, victim struck 3 times

The East Pittsburgh officer fired three times, hitting Rose three times in various parts of his body, McDonough said.

The officer has been placed on administrative leave, Allegheny County Police said. His name has not been released.

The officer had been an officer with other local departments for seven years, CNN affiliate WPXI reported. He had been sworn in that day, East Pittsburgh Mayor Louis J. Payne told the station.

In a statement, S. Lee Merritt, the family attorney, said Rose "posed no immediate threat to anyone" because he wasn't armed.

"These facts, without more, simply leave very little room to justify the use of deadly force by this officer," Merritt said in the statement.

East Pittsburgh Police Chief Lori Fruncek, who leads a force of eight patrol officers, couldn't be reached on Wednesday.

The officer who fired has not been interviewed, McDonough said. The officer's name has not been made public.

McDonough said he understands "in today's atmosphere, any time a young man is killed, there's cause for outrage ... in some areas." He asked for patience with the investigation.

"Some of the initial postings on social media that came out directly after this incident were inaccurate and inflammatory, so I would urge that people in the community give us a chance to conduct an objective investigation, and I guarantee that that's what they'll get from the Allegheny County Police," he said.

'He had this million-dollar smile'

During the protest on a rainy evening in East Pittsburgh, people shouted: "Justice now."

One protester, Michael Washington, told WPXI she was "beyond heartbroken" when she heard about the shooting.

"I wasn't even shocked, and it was because I'd been immune to this type of pain for years," said Washington, of Bellevue.

She added "since the beginning of time," black people have been killed.

The Woodland Hills School District confirmed Rose had attended Woodland Hills High School.

"From all accounts, he was a generous, hard-working and highly promising student," Merritt said.

In an interview, Assistant Superintendent Licia Lentz of the school district said Rose was "a very bright young man" who took advanced placement classes.

"He had this million-dollar smile," she said.

"He was gifted and teachers were really trying to mentor him," Lentz said.

Rose is the fourth student -- all boys -- from the district to die from gun violence since Thanksgiving, Lentz said. One victim was a 7-year-old in first grade, she said.

"We just need to heal as a community because it's getting a little bit crazy," she said.


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(42) comments


Before outrage have an investigation, and find out what ACTUALLY, verifiably happened.

Why did they shoot at him?
1. The occupants of the vehicle were suspected of being in shooting, and therefore considered armed, willing to use lethal force, and therefore dangerous.
2. The driver was apparently cooperating but being secured because of fact 1.
3. The two passengers fled the vehicle, contravening the obvious expectation (and most likely instruction) to remain in the car and keep their hands in some visible, presumably safe location.
4. Since the guns had not been found on the floor of the vehicle at the time that Rose was shot, there was no evidence or proof that he was unarmed, ergo it was perfectly reasonable to consider him a lethally armed threat that was highly likely to fire a weapon at the police given fact 1.
5. Rose was obviously given direction to stop fleeing /resisting arrest but did not comply because he either chose not to or "did not understand the command" (which should have been obvious given the context of the situation)
6. It's extremely unlikely that vehicle or body camera data will do anything but confirm the above.
7. Had Rose and the other passenger remained in the vehicle and made no threatening moves, neither would have been shot at or killed, especially based on the fact that the driver, who complied, was unharmed.
8. Note strong ballistic evidence means that there is at least one .40 caliber bullet hole in the silver chevy cruze and probably the bullet itself, which most likely be a ballistic match to the initial drive by victim's firearm with the obvious conclusion that this car and these people committed the drive by shooting.

The pure conjecture part:
1. Rose and the unidentified passenger chose to run through some decision making process which evaluated the potential consequences of remaining in the vehicle and being caught with the firearms versus fleeing in an attempt to avoid being connected with said firearms.
2. Either Rose, the missing passenger, or both will probably have their finger prints on the weapons, since the driver was statistically not as likely to be the weapons operator.
3. If Rose had handled either firearm, it is also highly likely that gunpowder residue will be found on his dominant (shooting) hand indicating that he participated in the shooting.
4. Driver will claim that Rose and possibly the passenger did the shooting without his prior knowledge/planning/cooperation in order to reduce his sentence.

The pure opinion part
1. Good kids don't shoot other good kids - they have a moral compass that tells them not to physically or emotionally harm others or they don't. Therefore Rose was not purely "a good kid". He was simply very effective at camouflaging his non-good kid activities or tendencies from a subset of the populous. Granted it could be new behavior or personal associations, but not that new. Unfortunately it is beyond extremely common for teens to seemingly successfully hide their "dark side" from their family, teachers, coaches, and other support groups for extended periods of time until the façade unravels. Frequently spectacularly.
2. The comment that people "were trying to mentor him" suggests that those mentors were unsuccessfully attempting to guide him away from poor associations, activities, or decisions. I applaud them for trying.
3. I'm sorry for his parent's, family, and friend's loss - I am familiar with it.


No proof he was unarmed? That's backwards, so police can shoot anyone as long as they can say there is no proof the man does not have a gun!?


Its ok for a cop to shoot us in the back if we flee but if you are a home owner and someone breaks into your home, and you shoot them while they are fleeing your home, you are going to jail for protecting your family.

Black & Proud Man

Can how frustrating it is to you that hide behind fake names and sheets when those you feel should be subject to your wishes gives what you say or think about anything as much concern as a flee on a camel's back in the middle of a desert. You and all like you have zero direct authority or influence under, with, or over African Americans at any level that matters to anyone. I am available for a more private and personal discussion on this or any other subject that you think you would love to be able to talk with a Black Person to enlighten them on the potential benefit to. I would love to meet with you because I know you will never be the same in word or deed after our little private summit on Race in Amerikka. All is needed is for you to reply in your legal name stating that you will meet with me. I am sure than we can arrange for it to happen within the next few days if not sooner.




I'm black, but I don't want to get shot by the cops, so I usually say exactly what I do before I do it in front of them, like getting my license out of my pocket.
But These fools car already had ballistic damage in the window.
You know a traffic stop is one of the most dangerous things for a police officer? Because they have no idea what the heck you have in your car. They had two guns in the car!
In addition, their car matched the description....WITH BALLISTIC DAMAGE!! If that don't make a cop draw his weapon, then he shouldn't be a cop. Cops are supposed to shoot the bad guys if they feel a threat is legitimate. If he had waited to open fire, there could have been a firefight for all we know, and an innocent could have been killed by stray bullet. People need to get a grip. PC culture has taken over everyone's judgement. Of all the police shootings, we have the most obvious one that is Justified, and the cop is being charged with third-degree murder. Sad


Exactly! All of that she said is bullshit


i need to reply with all said even if you get to the point of having your weapon drawn because of the possibility the car was involved in a shooting one of the subjects were detained the driver and the other two rain they were not confronting the officer nor did the officer feel he was in danger, He wanted them not to get away so he shot not once but 3 times 3 times killing the victim.


I'm black, and if I approached a car with ballistic damage, I'd ALSO shoot 1st n ask questions later. I'm not risking my life for their drive-by escapades!! For pfhucks sake if they just sat there, n put the guns under the seat or the glove box, he'd be alive! Usually Only stupid (stupid doesn't have a race) criminals go to jail, or get shot. Not all the time, some times the stupid ones get lucky, but usually. The key words here are "visible ballistic damage". And the car is a descriptive match. Case Probably closed. Please protest for ppl that need it.


Your the first person I've seen that has made a good point. Stupid is the reason people get shot or end up in jail


I want to thank you for providing a well spoken, reasonable comment. You don't see much sanity in comment sections and it's refreshing to say the least. No one truly knows the whole, factual story, but at least you presented a possible narrative without racism, inflammatory language, etc. I wish more commenters could be like you.


I agree with this guest!! This seems unbiased and I like how you laid everything out. I am a mom of 3 black son in Phila so I see shootings on the news daily. I’m afraid for my sons when I see articles like this. I tell them to comply with the police if they ever get stopped. We know a lot of good cops in Phila. All cops aren’t bad or racist. You made a good point about supposed good Kids hiding their bad actions. People are shocked that a “good kid who wrote a beautiful poem” can be involved in bad things. That could be any of our kids bec/ clearly he wasn’t raised that way. However, that doesn’t give cops the right to shoot people running away. What happened to a chase?? I think black men feel safer running away than “following command” bec/ there have been cases when they comply & still get shot/killed (I.e. the guy up North & his incident was on tape). The question I have is can a cop shoot people in the back who are fleeing without visible weapons, yes or no?? I guess they can bec/ it’s been caught on tape a few times and they’ve gotten off.


If the occupants were not African Americans your narrative and bias would be different, along with the contiguous sad and horrific outcome. !!!


Imagine a Law and Order episode where a suspect takes off running and Jerry Orbach shoots him in the back.


Ok so explain to me why every time a white make who is armed shoots up and entire school of innocent kids ALWAYS walks out unscathed but when a black male who is unarmed does anything that even remotely resembles a “ possible threat “ is gunned down.


Exactly! I hate how the world is.


Well said! I couldn't agree more.


Which cases are you referring to? I can’t recall the last time a white male shot up a school and then “walked out unscathed.”

You’re the racist.


What’s wrong with your post is that it presupposes guilt. All of your sentences are written from the presumption of innocence for the police officers, and of guilt for the boys. In other words, you wrote a completely SUBJECTIVE post favoring the police. To do so is to completely dismiss all that has passed before. You might have written from both sides for objectivity, but you chose not to do so. That is why your argument fails.


I'm black and don't like getting harassed by the police. But these guys already had matching car with Ballistics damage. If I was the cop, and they ran on me, I would have shot them too, for fear of an ensuing firefight. Not necessarily fear for me, but as a police officer, you have to be aware of stray bullets hitting bystanders. Not your bullets, but theirs. Understand?
Plus the found 2 guns anyway afterwards. So yeah. Sad


Uhhh... have you read the full story or are you just here to pick and choose parts so you can spin a bigoted rant?



Very well said


There need to be more blacks Mexicans officers so we can start shoting White kids in their backs For any type a reason this is our rages how these people try to get away with murder


Obviously you yourself are a little uneducated. I guess go to Google and search cop shoots white man. Multiple white people have been gunned down by cops in situations just like this. I am so sick of black people playing the race card. What if it had nothing to do with race? Smfh Its just so easy to pull that card and do it for attention more then anything. And then they wonder why people think the way they do sometimes


This cop is a murderer, no doubt, but black on black murder in this nation is continuing to climb and thousands of young black men are dying and just the same with the ones they catch.


Would you post this if your child or loved one was the one who’d been shot?


I'm black, and I totally agree. Car had ballistic damage in the window that was obvious enough for the cop to have his Spidey sense tingle. When they ran, he fired. They looked in the car and found not one but TWO guns!
It's sad in this PC world we live in now that the poor pawn is being charged with third-degree murder now. They are trying to throw that cop to the Wolves to satisfy the snowflakes


It’s ppl like you that will speculate what happened all from what the police tells the new they was trying to cover they tracks from the incident as you can see in the video he was at he car with hit gun drawn already like he was ready to shoot one they other police arrived that’s when they ran they was scared all young black men are scared why wouldn’t they be when there’s multiple police shitting against young black men when have there been a shooting involving a black or white cop against a white kid I’ll wait.............? Also when the white kids shoot in the school and the police are called to the seen knowing the white kid is armed and dangerous and already killed multiple innocent ppl they apprehend that white kid but are black unarmed kid is dead like it makes no sense and everybody wanna justicfy why the cop did it where there’s none at all!!!! Also did you learn that the driver was a jitney driver that was released and not charge at all DONT u think of that car was involved in a shooting he would have been charged wit conspiracy but he wasn’t sooooo basically it wasn’t the vehicle don’t hoomg off what the police say they going take care of their own #JusticeForAntwan


I thought cops weren't suppose to shoot people in the back. He was running it dont take rocket scientist to figure that out unnecessary force as usual..


Cop saw obvious ballistics damage, on a matching vehicle, and they ran. Better shoot-first-ask-questions-later or it might be you in the ground for hesitating.
AND they found 2 guns..... So......
I'm black btw


They could have compiled and this would not have happened. So sad people are afraid of the police.


Being both black and white, its not hard to figure out what is going on here. Seriously, the officer is 30 and still in his prime. You're telling me he couldn't have chased the kid down? Surely these cops are taught more in the academy than to shoot and if not then shame on the system!! The cop made a decision to shoot this kid in the back 3 TIMES and really believed that idea was logical. These cops want respect and wonder why they have a bad rap, it is because of officers like THIS. Who do you call and turn to when the police are the bad guys?? If black cops went around killing white kids, how would this play out?? I'll wait..


We know from other shootings that number 7 is simply NOT the case!!!


Apples and oranges the simple difference to me is a police officer has three people in the car known to be involved in a felony drive by only has one semi under control has Obama commented yet on how his Suns brother you know Trayvon died too early in life and I also seem to remember a police officer shooting a white kid at the same time he fired his weapon taking his own life during a school shooting just recently so please don't tell me white cops don't shoot white gunman... and who will March and protest for the rights that were taken of the individual that was shot at in the drive by no one of course do you think Rose's mom will invite the mother and the young man since he's been released from the hospital to come to the funeral so she can explain to the mother how her son's a good boy and this this just isn't like him.. I am going to go out on a limb and say probably not....


I think it's hilarious how people like to come on to these discussion forums and take the position that I would have done it different and he did not need to do this or did not need to do that as if you can honestly sit on your couch and put yourself in that police officers position at that moment with what he knew.... that is without a doubt the most thankless job in the world how many people would have come on this forum to discuss their outrage that the suspect was waiting around the corner when the cop turned and shot him in the face before he could get his service weapon out so many of you would be commenting on how he knew the risk when he took the job or he should not have chased him at all without backup or whatever being a police officer is a damned if you do damned if you don't job... and I'm. Speculating as I have not seen the video did the other person that ran from the car run in the same direction or did they run into different directions.. I remember the case where the man got out of his car and ran in the park in the police officer shot him in the back and I fully support him being sent to jail as there was absolutely no cost for that but this and the Trayvon Martin and the Big Mike Brown and even the young kid in the park in Cleveland I think who raised the gun up to the police car or all circumstances where the police officer has a duty to protect his life and our lives


Yeah. Let’s not forget 2017 when Rahmael Holt (A BLACK MAN) shot and killed Brian Shaw (A YOUNG WHITE POLICE OFFICER) after he RAN FROM A CAR DURING A TRAFFIC STOP. Where did that incident take place? Oh, yeah! NEW KENSINGTON - About 30 minutes from the scene of this crime.

Was it okay to shoot this young boy? No. Absolutely not, but that’s a split second decision that NONE of us are equipped to make. It’s shoot or be shot in situations like these. Get a grip. Those kids could’ve ran around the corner of that house and turned around with guns drawn as the cops ensued.


In this case, what has been shared is that the car is said to have matched one described as speeding away from an earlier shooting incident. What is known from what was shared is that the driver of said car was stopped, ordered out of the car, put on the ground and handcuffed (nothing said of whether the driver was told anything as to why he was stopped or rights read before being handcuffed). What has been reported is that two young men, one known to be a teenager, ran from the car and away from the police (AWAY from the police), and was shot in the back three times. What has been reported is that the driver was a hired driver and he was released. What we know is that black people are killed by police regardless of whether they are facing the police ("feared fro my life") or running away from the police (feared for my life"). The disparity between how black people are treated by police is too well documented and the pitiful, though well written excuses expressed on this site are why such continues. There are too many examples of how white men who have killed officers and deemed "armed and dangerous" have lived (captured by police) to go before the courts for their crimes. In these cases, the police have not served as judge and jury; neither has been murdered by the police. There is NO justification for this boy named Antwon Rose, nor too many others, to have been murdered. NONE!!

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If you are in the car during a drive-by shooting you are committing a crime! You are involved! You have already put yourself in a position to be shot at. Like he did not know "what was going on!" as they approached the intersection where they slowed down or stoped to commit the drive by shooting! Do I think he should have been shot in the back? No! But, Do I think he is innocent of the whole situation. Absolutely Not! These guys put themselves in a criminal situation knowing they could be chased & shot at by the police, but when this happens people protest! Had he not been involved he would be alive today! If this guy had broken into the house of one of these very same protestors they themselves might very well shoot at him too! Every time I hear about one of these situations where a cop shot someone and everyone protests about it that person was usually committing some sort of crime in the first place. Barring a very few times! If you don't want to be shot by the police then don't commit a crime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


O' Yea! Don't get in a car with a bunch of gang banging gun toting gangster thugs!


Don't get in a car with a bunch of gang banging gun toting gangster thugs!

Here's a thought!
If you are in a car with a group of bank robbers, You are a bank robber!


Yeah, not to mention the fact that the kid had a magazine in his pants which fit a gun that was recovered right underneath the seat he was sitting in... oh, and said gun just so happened to be reported stolen earlier THAT DAY! Who steals a gun and totes it around with them in that manner? Why would he have the mag in his pocket while the gun is under the seat? Probably because he had intentions of loading that magazine at some point.

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