The boy shot dead by police in East Pittsburgh on Tuesday night has been identified as 17-year-old high school student Antwon Rose II. Rose was fleeing a traffic stop when he was shot three times by a police officer
The 17-year-old boy shot dead by a police officer in East Pittsburgh on Tuesday night as he tried to flee arrest has been identified as high school student Antwon Rose.
Rose was shot three times in the back after a car he was a passenger in was pulled over in connection with a drive-by shooting that occurred little more than a mile away a few minutes earlier.
When the car was pulled over, officers ordered the driver out of the vehicle and handcuffed him. Shocking video shows two people, one of them being Rose, flee the vehicle and an officer firing three shots in quick succession at the boys moments later.
At the time the shots are fired, both men have their backs to police, so it is believed the 17-year-old was shot from behind, though Allegheny County Superintendent Coleman McDonough declined to comment on where the bullets entered his body.
McDonough told reporters on Wednesday Rose was unarmed when he fled, though two guns were found on the floor of the car.
According to a statement from the local police department, Rose was pronounced dead at 9.19pm after he was taken to McKeesport Hospital – about 40 minutes after the traffic stop began.
Video from the scene showing a young man being put into an ambulance was shared to social media and appeared to show paramedics performing chest compressions.
Rose was pronounced dead at a local hospital about 40 minutes after the traffic stop began
Three shots in a row were fired moments after Rose fled the car, by an officer who had been sworn in just hours earlier, and police quickly flooded the street (pictured)
The 20-year-old driver who was handcuffed before Rose and another who tried to flee was released after being questioned by police.
Attorney S. Lee Merritt, a civil rights lawyer who has acted as legal representation in a number of high profile Black Lives Matter cases, issued a statement on behalf of the family on Wednesday.
Merritt said by all accounts, Rose was beloved in his community, and a good student. He said in the accounts from police and witnesses, there so far does not appear to be a legal justification for the officer to have fired his gun, nor is there proof Rose was involved in the earlier shooting.
‘It’s difficult to find justification in the shooting of 17-year-old rising senior high school student Antwon Rose II,’ the statement read.
‘From all accounts, he was a generous, hard working and highly promising student. Affirmations of his generosity of spirit and genuine goodheartedness [sic] have begun pouring in from all corners of the East Pittsburgh community where he lived.
Police have said Rose was unarmed when he was killed in the shooting, and video shows he had his back turned to the officer when he was fired at
Confronting video shows Rose (in the grey shirt) being shot as the driver of the car was handcuffed. The car was identified as one used in a drive-by shooting shortly before the traffic stop, and the driver of the car was arrested and later released
‘We must emphasize that rumors of him being involved in a separate shooting are unsubstantiated. We know he was not armed at the time he was shot down, that he posed no immediate threat to anyone, and that, significantly, the driver of the vehicle he occupied was released from police custody.
‘The officer involved in this shooting had just sworn into Pittsburgh PD roughly three hours before this encounter. These facts, without more, simply leave very little room to justify the use of deadly force by this officer.’
Rose was a promising student and beloved by his community, a statement from a lawyer on behalf of his family says
The officer involved in the shooting had served as a policeman in the area for seven years prior to Tuesday night’s incident, but had only been sworn in to this police department three hours earlier.
He has been placed on administrative leave and has not been interviewed by police. The officer was not wearing a bodycam at the time.
Following the shooting, the street was quickly flooded with police, trying to establish what had happened.
Locals took to social media to broadcast the reaction as dozens in the town of about 2,000 flocked to the corner to see what had happened.
In many videos, a woman could be heard crying, and others were heard discussing what had happened and sharing their devastation.
While some shared their sadness, others shared their anger. One woman suggested the officer was playing ‘target practice’ when he shot at the boys, and told her followers: ‘If you’re not pissed off then you’re on the other side… with them’.
On Wednesday, locals took to the streets again to protest, blocking off a major intersection on Electric Avenue in rush hour.
Rose was struck three times by the officer, who has been placed on administrative leave and had not been interviewed as of Wednesday afternoon
Video shows a large crowd chanting Rose’s name, while some hold placards calling for an end to police violence. Others yelled: ‘no justice, no peace’, and ‘turn up don’t turn down we do this for Antwon’.
When it began to rain, many stayed out, pulling out umbrellas and gathering under a bridge.
Dozens more sat down in the middle of the street in the pouring rain to continue the protest.
A second rally is scheduled at the courthouse for Thursday, and Antwon’s funeral will be held on Monday.
A GoFundMe has been launched to help the family with funeral arrangements, and has raised more than $1,000 in just two hours.
A massive crowd blocked off a major intersection in the area on Wednesday to protest the shooting (pictured)