PITTSBURGH — A misinterpreted text message sparked a scary situation in the city’s North Side on Friday afternoon.
At around 12:30 p.m. many workers and guests at Nova Place were promptly evacuated, while nearby neighbors watched police and EMS fill the entire block of South Commons Street, shutting down portions of the street to manage what was believed to be an active shooter.
Police confirmed that this afternoon, a frantic 911 caller had reported that shots were heard in the Nova Place office building. In response, both city and county police arrived at the scene.
For more than two hours, police searched Nova Place and the vicinity.
At one point, Pittsburgh Public School District also confirmed that nearby elementary schools such as King PreK-8 and Allegheny PreK-5 were also placed on lockdown.
All these actions, for what ultimately turned out to be a big misunderstanding.
According to police, a person meant to text “fire alarm,” but instead sent “firearm.”
“The person texted [another] person off-site fire alarm. [But] what was meant to say fire alarm came out as firearm. When they didn’t respond to their phone, the person that got the text called police because they thought there was an immediate danger, but there was not,” said Maurice Matthews, PIO for the City of Pittsburgh Police.
Officials later confirmed there were no injuries, victims, or a shooter.
“Responding officers arrived on scene and didn’t find any evidence of a shooting, no victims, and few people even said that they didn’t hear anything,” added Mathews.
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A bar in Uptown was shut down after a raid.
The state calls it a nuisance bar with complaints about drug activity and late-night noise and has been trying to shut it down for years. On Wednesday, agents once again raided Ace’s & Deuce’s lounge on Fifth Avenue and shut it down — at least for now.
Agents from the Nuisance Bar Taskforce descended on the bar shortly after 1 p.m. and by midday, the Allegheny County Health Department had shut it down for numerous violations. But the investigation goes deeper.
Detectives from vice and narcotics, state police and agents from the Liquor Control Board descended on the bar en masse much to the delight of the bar’s neighbor, the Bethlehem Haven Woman’s Shelter.
The shelter for women in recovery has been one of the major sources of complaints against the bar for drug activity and late-night noise. Executive Director Annette Fetchko calls it a threat to the health and safety of her clients.
Source: Uptown Bar Shut Down After Raid
A state trooper’s duties have been restricted after he was cited this week in connection with an incident at his Mt. Pleasant Township home. Michael S.J. Predajna, 37, is facing two counts of harassment. Citations filed by state police indicate that he slapped someone at his home at 2:10 a.m.
By: KDKA-TV News Staff
HARRISBURG (KDKA) – A Pennsylvania State Police trooper was taken into custody early on Saturday morning.
Trooper Scott Myers was arrested following an off-duty physical altercation in the early morning hours on Saturday at a home in Summerhill Township, Cambria County.
Myers is facing a felony charge along with multiple misdemeanor charges related to a physical altercation with another adult male.
He is facing charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, terrorist threats, and harassment.
Myers has been suspended without pay pending the resolution of the criminal charges.
Police are investigating after human remains were found in a shed behind a house in Pittsburgh’s Knoxville neighborhood.
Police were alerted to reports of human remains found in a shed behind a residence on the 300 block of Reifert Street around 4:30 p.m.
Early Sunday morning, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office identified the woman as Crystal Leshner, 38.
Major Crimes Detectives and the Pittsburgh Crime Scene unit were called to the scene to collect evidence.
Neighbor Ronnie Davis said the scene was unsettling.
“I’m a single father, and I have two kids, and if it was a homicide, I need to know,” Davis said.
Pittsburgh Public Safety spokeswoman Cara Cruz said the investigation could take time.
“It is going to be a long investigation, of course. This is not usual. We are used to other things in the city, but this is definitely unusual,” Cruz said.
She said it was unclear at that point if the initial report came from someone who lives there.
Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 crew on scene saw the medical examiner come to the scene and take the body away.
No information on the demographic or identification of the remains was provided at this time. Cruz said she had no information if there is anyone in custody at this time.
This is a developing story. Stay with Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 for updates.
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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Los Angeles police officers shot and killed both a 14-year-old girl and an assault suspect when they opened fire inside a Burlington store in North Hollywood Thursday morning, authorities said.
Los Angeles police believe the girl was struck by a stray bullet that passed through a dressing room wall. The 14-year-old was identified by the L.A. County Coroner’s Office Friday as Valentina Orellana-Peralta. The male suspect’s name has not yet been released.
By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – What started as a call to ensure a firing went without incident turned into an arrest for murder.
On Wednesday night, Pittsburgh Police got a call from the Family Dollar in the Marshall-Shadeland neighborhood about a shoplifting employee. The store manager told police that 22-year-old Joseph Tedder had been stealing from the store and was to be fired.
Once police arrived, they learned Tedder had fled the store.
It was then when police learned that Tedder had been wanted in Austin, Texas for a murder during a suspected drug deal. The criminal complaint says that Tedder and two other men entered an apartment in Austin with plans to sell drugs and shortly after, gunfire rang out and a man was dead.
The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office was then called to assist Pittsburgh Police.
After 10:00 p.m., deputies located a vehicle that Tedder was believed to be in on the 3300 block of Brighton Road.
Tedder was then found inside a home and taken into custody without incident.
Police said a man was leaving the mall when he was confronted by another man at his vehicle.
The man who approached the victim opened the passenger side door and confronted him.
Police said the victim fled from the vehicle and the suspect also fled the area, without taking anything.
Police said the vehicle had been left running in reverse and drifted backward, unoccupied, and hit another vehicle parked in the next row.
Police said the victim did not have anything taken and was not injured.
Police also said the two may have known each other, but it is unclear at this time.
Ross police said they have obtained surveillance video of the incident and are still investigating.
This is a developing story. Stay with Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 for updates. Download the WTAE mobile app to stay connected with breaking news.
Police said Marcus Quevi, 30, grabbed his girlfriend and threatened to kill her when she told him to leave her roommate alone.
Police said the girlfriend told Quevi to leave the house, which he did, but he allegedly then climbed the fire escape and broke back into the home.
Police said Quevi’s girlfriend and her roommate hid in the basement until police count get them out safely.
Police said Quevi barricaded himself inside but surrendered about an hour later.
Quevi faces several charges including burglary and simple assault.
Westmoreland County drivers can expect to see more police patrols focused on cracking down on aggressive and impaired drivers in the region through the New Year’s holiday.
“Whether it’s day or night, people can expect to see increased state police patrols targeting impaired drivers,” said Lt. Ryan Maher of Troop A in Greensburg.
Maher was among the local and state police officers and PennDOT officials who Thursday at the Latrobe Municipal Building announced the launch of the annual Operation Safe Holiday Campaign.
The patrols in Cambria, Indiana, Somerset and Westmoreland counties with Troop A will not only be focusing on impaired drivers, “but aggressive drivers and speeders,” Maher said.
During 2020, between Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, Troop A investigated six traffic fatalities and 96 additional wrecks that resulted in injuries. Maher said 27 of those “holiday” accidents involved impaired drivers.
“Our goal is to attempt to reduce that number this year,” Maher said.
PITTSBURGH — Officers packed up and handed out meals to community members in need.
“It means a lot to us actually. It’s probably one of the best parts of our jobs,” said Commander Shawn Malloy.
St. Mary’s Orthodox Church in South Side donated more than 3,200 meals of turkey and sides.
“Any time we can help out with the community, that’s what we’re here for,” said Malloy.
Officers say they love the opportunity to get out into the neighborhoods and build positive relationships.
“The officers really love doing this part,” said Malloy. “This is what we love to do the most.”
People like Sharon Smith, who received a meal, are grateful.
“It’s very meaningful, especially for our community so that we get to see our policemen in action and that they want to help us out and be grateful that they’re around to help us,” she said.
A Pittsburgh police officer is on unpaid administrative leave after he was charged with rear-ending a car while intoxicated in Plum earlier this month.
The driver of the car he hit, according to police, is WPXI-TV reporter Amy Hudak.
Tariq Jamal-Francis is charged with driving under the influence, endangering the welfare of children, and moving violations in connection with the Nov. 12 incident.
The crash happened about 2:30 p.m. on New Texas Road near Saltsburg Road, according to the criminal complaint. Hudak told officers she’d been rear-ended and the car that struck hers fled the scene. She told police that she recognized the car as belonging to a neighbor.
Police found Jamal-Francis pulled over near Boyce Park Village, and he told officers he’d been in an accident on New Texas Road, authorities wrote, noting that his 17-year-old son was in the front passenger seat. Police said the boy said he’d been injured, but declined treatment.
An officer asked Jamal-Francis if he’d been drinking, according to the complaint, to which he responded he had been. He refused to perform a field sobriety test, according to the complaint, but he consented to having his blood drawn to determine his blood-alcohol content.
Officers said Jamal-Francis kept saying “that he did it and should not have put himself in that position and should have had his son get a ride to practice,” according to the complaint.
Public Safety spokeswoman Cara Cruz said Jamal-Francis was off-duty at the time of the crash, and he remains on unpaid leave.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 19.
Freeport hasn’t had a police officer on duty since Nov. 3, when the newly hired police chief quit at the end of his first shift. With no officers left on the force, state police are handling calls in the 1.3-square-mile borough of about 1,700 residents, officials said.
Freeport hasn’t had a police officer on duty since Nov. 3, when the newly hired police chief quit at the end of his first shift.
With no officers left on the force, state police are handling calls in the 1.3-square-mile borough of about 1,700 residents, officials said.
Retired Plum police Sgt. Matthew Feldmeier, 58, was hired as chief Nov. 1 and was sworn in that night by Mayor James Swartz Jr. He was the only applicant for the $53,500-a-year job.
Swartz said Feldmeier worked his first shift during the day on Nov. 2 and participated in interviews that evening to fill two open positions for police officers.
But when the borough secretary arrived at the borough building the following morning, she found the chief’s badge, office keys and a handwritten letter of resignation stating that he was leaving “to pursue other interests,” the mayor said.
Several telephone and text messages seeking comment from Feldmeier were not returned.
The only other police officer on the borough’s roster is Terry Lucas, a part-timer who also works as a police officer at a hospital in Pittsburgh.
But the mayor said Lucas hasn’t worked a shift for the borough in nearly five months because of the demands of his other job.
Swartz said Feldmeier gave him no indication that he was planning to resign.
Incident began on Sunday night
The bomb squad was called when a suspicious device was spotted in Pittsburgh’s Allentown neighborhood.
Police were first called to the scene around 11:45 p.m. Sunday in the area of Brosville Street and East Warrington Avenue.
Pittsburgh Public Safety said there was a disabled vehicle with a suspicious device inside.
The device was later determined to be some kind of speaker and not dangerous.
Allegheny County police are investigating after a man was found dead in McKeesport late Friday afternoon.
The county medical examiner has identified the victim as 41-year-old Stephen Rucinski of McKeesport. County Police said Rucinski was found dead in a house along the 2900 block of Grover Avenue at around 4:40 Friday afternoon.
Police said detectives were called to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death.
No other details about the man’s death have been released.
This is a developing story. Stay with Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 for updates.
PITTSBURGH — Police activity was reported outside of Oliver Citywide Academy on Brighton Road over a disturbance.
Channel 11 had crew at the school to gather more information.
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After arriving at the scene, Channel 11 learned that there was an altercation that was quickly resolved.
By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A third Pittsburgh Police officer has passed away from complications of COVID-19.
Pittsburgh Police say Sgt. Timothy Werner, 49, died at UPMC Mercy Hospital Tuesday morning following complications from the COVID-19 virus.
Sgt. Werner was entering his 22nd year with the Pittsburgh Police Bureau.
In a statement, Police Chief Scott Schubert said, “It is with deep sadness that I learned of the passing of Sergeant Tim Werner. Tim has been a friend to many and a dedicated public servant for the City of Pittsburgh for many years. It’s going to be extremely difficult not seeing Tim at Police Headquarters every day. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. He will be truly missed.”
Sgt. Werner worked for many years in Zones 4 and 5. Most recently, the bureau says he worked as a supervisor in the property room at Police Headquarters.
The bureau says Sgt. Werner will be dearly missed by his brothers and sisters in the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.
His funeral will be private.
Sgt. Richard Howe and Officer Brian Rowland both died in October from COVID-19 complications.
A Brookline woman is being charged for allegedly assaulting an off-duty Pittsburgh police detective Saturday night.
Police say 44-year-old Angie Hindman attacked Det. Michelle McHenry inside the Brook Line & Sinker bar around 11 p.m.
Date: October 31, 2021
Incident Type: Shooting
Location: Zone 3
Pittsburgh Police responded to the 1500 block of Brownsville Road around 2:20 a.m. for a reported shooting.
When Zone 3 officers arrived, they located an unconscious male with multiple gunshot wounds. Officers rendered aid until EMS arrived.
Medics transported the victim to a local hospital in critical condition.
There were no suspect descriptions or direction of flight.
The Mobile Crime Unit arrived to process the scene, and the investigation is ongoing.
City of Pittsburgh Public Safety Media Blotter.
Source: Public Safety Blotter
PITTSBURGH — Two residents of Allegheny County have been sentenced to prison after conspiring to set fire to a police vehicle during the downtown riot on May 30, 2020, and on a related charge of interference with a law enforcement officer during civil disorder on that same day, Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced on Friday.
Da’Jon Lengyel, 24, of McKees Rocks will spend a little over two years in prison whereas Christopher West, 26, of Pittsburgh will spend four years, according to court documents.
Pittsburgh police said Sunday that an alleged social media threat made nationwide against “Central High School” is no longer a threat.
Previously, the city’s police and intelligence units were investigating the message as a possible threat against Central Catholic High School in Oakland.
Police said the threat was issued on social media platforms and targeted “Central High School” nationwide. The message — which was not local — had since circulated out-of-state. There is no active threat at any Central High School in Pennsylvania, police said.
The suspect was arrested in Missouri and is in custody, police said.
While the threat was not deemed credible, Central Catholic principal Brother Tony Baginski said in a statement that “out of an abundance of caution,” the school will have “increased police presence in and around the school on Monday.”
“In addition, our teachers will review safety procedures with students and our school counselors and licensed school psychologist are available to students in need of support. We are thankful for the quick work of the Zone 4 Police, the cyber intelligence unit and the FBI in resolving this case so we can resume school normally on Monday,” Brother Tony said in a statement.
Brother Tony also said that the safety of students, faculty and staff is the school’s top priority.
“[T]hroughout the years, Central Catholic High School has taken several safety precautions to protect our community, including utilizing the Safe 2 Say app, the installation of the Blue Point Security system, and maintaining close relationships with the Zone 4 police,” Brother Tony said in a statement.
A state trooper in western Pennsylvania is suspended without pay following an internal affairs investigation, Pennsylvania State Police said Thursday.
The department’s General Investigations Unit responded to a request for assistance in Duquesne about 7:20 p.m., according to a department news release.
First responders who were sent to the 1000 block of Duquesne Boulevard found the woman, who had been shot in “an upper extremity,” investigators said.
She was taken to a hospital with what was believed to be a non-life-threatening wound, they said.
Investigators asked anyone with information about the shooting to call them at 1-833-ALL-TIPS.
Former President Trump made a surprise visit with New York City police and firefighters Saturday to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
In remarks to assembled guests, the former president sharply rebuked President Biden and the US pullout from Afghanistan.
“It was gross incompetence and I hate to talk about it on this day,” Trump said.
Trump praised New York’s Finest, telling the crowd, “if they let you do your job you wouldn’t have crime in New York!”
As some in the crowd nodded their heads, The Donald jokingly warned them to “just stand and just be perfect.”
In August, a task force was formed to crack down on these so-called ride-outs across the city.
Police from several local departments are still searching for the shooter
NORTH VERSAILLES, Pa. —
One teenager was killed and a second is in critical condition after a shooting Saturday night at a popular Halloween attraction in North Versailles, Allegheny County.
The shooting happened at 8:15 p.m. at Haunted Hills Hayride on Mosside Boulevard.
According to Allegheny County Police, both victims are 15-year-old boys.
Police from several local departments are still searching for the shooter, also believed to be a teenager.
Police tell Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 the shooting appears to have stemmed from an argument near the ticket booth.
Haunted Hills Hayride was set to kick off the season by hosting a “Lights Out Event”. Gates were scheduled to open at 8:30 p.m.
Allegheny County Police say a couple hundred people were at the attraction at the time of the shooting.
Officers are currently interviewing workers and patrons. Anyone with information is asked to call Allegheny County Police at 1-833-ALL-TIPS.
An entire Missouri police department, including the police chief and his officers, resigned leaving the city of Kimberling without immediate authority.
Citing problems like an inadequate pay rate and not having the right tools to do the job, the department has local leaders struggling to find replacements, especially when rhetoric against law enforcement is high amongst some, Fox News reported.
“It will be a struggle to fill the police department back up with qualified officers, but hopefully they can start working on that soon and get that accomplished,” Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said of the resignations at the Kimberling City Police Department, noting that most police stations are understaffed.
What preempted the mass exodus, according to Rader, was Kimberling City Police Chief Craig Alexander’s resignation on Aug. 23. He wanted changes from the town’s mayor and he wanted to better himself, Fox News reported.
Soon after, Alexander’s resignation was joined by three officers and a sergeant, with their reasons for quitting being the absence of a police clerk to assist the department, not having qualified officers in the department, and wanting new opportunities with a better pay rate, according to NBC Springfield, Missouri.
It is being reported that some of the Kimberling City Police Officers left to join the Branson West Police Department, which caught Mayor Bob Fritz of Kimberling City off guard.
“I didn’t know there were that many openings in Branson West because we didn’t see an advertisement for police,” Fritz said, referring to Alexander and officer Shaun McCafferty taking jobs at the Branson West Police Department.
“[The resignations were] unexpected and the short notice disappointing,” the mayor said.
PITTSBURGH — A violent Pittsburgh neighborhood gang was busted during an FBI and police raid in Hazelwood early Thursday morning.
The gang, known as the “Hazelwood Mob,” was dismantled after a four-month-long investigation into violence and drug trafficking in the neighborhood. The indictment charged 25 people with drug trafficking and firearm violations, the Department of Justice announced. Investigators said they used wire taps and tips from the community to identify who was involved and what their role was in the organization.
Channel 11 was there as Pittsburgh police raided two houses along Second Avenue in Hazelwood around 6 a.m.
An armed woman who had barricaded herself in a building South Braddock Avenue in Pittsburgh surrendered without incident early Thursday night, according to Pittsburgh police.
The woman, who was not identified, ended the standoff in the 200 block of South Braddock Avenue at 7 p.m. and was going to be taken into custody, once being medically cleared by paramedics who responded to the incident, police said
The city’s SWAT unit responded to the emergency. Police had called to her to safely surrender, according to the Pittsburgh Public Safety’s Twitter page.
Additional details were not available late Thursday night.
State police said two men got into a verbal altercation over the parking spot and the altercation escalated to the point where both men displayed handguns.
No one was hurt.
Police said both men were separated at the scene.
The incident happened a little before 9:30 a.m. Tuesday on the 800 block of Georges Station Road in Hempfield Township.