Published On: Sun, Jun 24th, 2018

Antwon Rose shooting protests continue in Pittsburgh as Officer Michael Rosefeld avoids the media

More than 500 protesters took to Pittsburgh’s South Side Saturday night into Sunday morning to protest the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager Tuesday in East Pittsburgh borough.

Antwon Rose, 17, was shot and killed when he ran from police during a traffic stop about 8:20 p.m. Officers matched the description of the car Rose was riding in to a car that was seen fleeing the scene of the shooting: a silver Chevrolet Cruze that also had “ballistics damage to the rear window.”

During the stop officers handcuffed the driver and one passenger, while Rose and another young man fled the scene. An officer shot and killed Rose, at least one bullet wound was in the teen’s back.

Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough confirmed that Rose was unarmed when he “bolted” from the scene. Two firearms were recovered from the floor of the car, McDonough said.

“I’m very confident that that was the vehicle involved in the shooting,” McDonough told reporters.

A Graphic video taken from a neighbor’s window captured the the shooting and its aftermath. A silver car is visible in the frame, and both of its front doors open as the footage rolls. Two police cruisers, with their lights flashing, are located behind it. An officer appears to stand behind the police car’s open doors with his arms out in front of him.

A man in a gray shirt flees from the car, running in the opposite direction from the police vehicles. He makes it about 10 feet before three gunshots ring out, dropping him to the ground.

The woman taking the video gasps. “Why are they shooting him?” she says. “All they did was run, and they’re shooting at him.”

The other man fleeing does not appear to have been hit. McDonough said it is not believed that he was shot.

Rose’s family released a statement through its lawyer, S. Lee Merritt, noting Rose was not armed when he was shot, “that he posed no immediate threat to anyone” and that the driver had not been arrested after being questioned.

Rose’s death was listed as homicide, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office said.

The officer who fatally shot Rose, identified as Michael Rosfeld, has been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is being investigated, McDonough said.

The marchers began near the Birmingham Bridge about 8:30 p.m. Saturday and made their way down East Carson, moving slowly and peacefully. They turned around near the 10th Street Bridge and walked back in the other direction.

“Three shots in the back, how you justify that?” protesters chanted Friday. Demonstrators carrying a sign that read, “Fire killer cops.”

“I understand in today’s atmosphere anytime a young man is killed there’s cause for outrage in some areas,” Superintendent McDonough said. “However, I would urge people to give us time to conduct an objective investigation, to gather facts.”

Michael Rosefeld

Rosfeld, 30, said he and his family are trying to deal with what happened. He said this is a difficult time for them and said he wasn’t ready to talk about what happened in the moments before he fired his gun or why he did it. He said he’s gotten a lot of support from law enforcement, but has stayed away from all of the media coverage.

Rosfeld said he did not know there was video showing the moments that he fired his gun three times, striking and killing Rose.

A few other facts:

  • a gun magazine was found in Rose’s possession, an unconfirmed number of firearms were found in the car
  • police gave a verbal order to Rose before the shots were fired
  • Rosfeld was officially sworn in an as a part-time officer at an East Pittsburgh council meeting about an hour before the shooting
  • Rosfeld was dismissed from his job with the Pitt police department in January 2018 for cause, no other details have surfaced
  • police received several calls reporting a shooting on the 800 block of Kirkpatrick Avenue in North Braddock. Paramedics later found a 22-year-old male victim.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at theglobaldispatch@gmail ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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