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District attorney says Deven Holloway's shooting death outside Penn Hills school was justified

Michael DiVittorio
| Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, 3:57 p.m.
Officers stand by at the scene of the deadly shooting at Linton Middle School in Penn Hills on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Officers stand by at the scene of the deadly shooting at Linton Middle School in Penn Hills on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.
Photo of Deven Holloway posted on Facebook after his death by Yvonne Smith, who wrote: 'R.I.P Nephew, Deven Holloway! May your soul be at peace.'
Facebook
Photo of Deven Holloway posted on Facebook after his death by Yvonne Smith, who wrote: 'R.I.P Nephew, Deven Holloway! May your soul be at peace.'
Nicholas Knight
Nicholas Knight

A Plum man was justified in fatally shooting a Penn Hills teen outside of Linton Middle School in March, according to Allegheny County District Attorney's Office.

“After a thorough and complete investigation by the Allegheny County Police, our review of the evidence dealing with the fatal shooting of Deven Holloway indicated that Nicholas Knight was justified in his use of force to defend himself and, as a result, will not be charged with the shooting death,” District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.'s spokesman Mike Manko said Tuesday in an email.

Manko said the decision was made within the past two weeks and declined further comment.

Holloway, 16, was found shot to death in a playground near the school on Aster Street on March 28 around 4:30 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Knight, 23, is charged with possession of a weapon on school property and tampering with physical evidence in connection with the incident. He waived his preliminary hearing before Penn Hills District Judge Anthony L. DeLuca on Oct. 16.

Online court documents show Knight posted $50,000 bond on Sept. 8. His arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 19.

According to the criminal complaint, Holloway suffered multiple gunshot wounds and a .45 caliber handgun was found next to his body.

Knight turned himself in to county police the same day and surrendered his semi-automatic pistol.

A witness told county detectives he, Knight and two others went to Linton to play basketball, according to the complaint.

He said after they pulled into a parking spot, Holloway got into the car with Knight and the two others, pulled out a gun and said, “Give me everything you got.”

Holloway hit Knight with the gun, stepped out of the vehicle and fired a shot into the car, the complaint said.

Another witness was in the car said Knight then pulled out his gun and shot at Holloway.

County police photographed the vehicle and found a possible bullet strike in the driver's side rear door, but no casings.

The complaint states “it is believed spent cartridge casings were discarded from the vehicle between the time of the shooting, Knight fleeing” and showing up to county homicide headquarters with his attorney, Phillip DiLucente.

“We were very pleased with the investigation and the outcome obviously,” said DiLucente. “It was based upon Mr. Knight being attacked. He was charged with having a gun on school property.”

DiLucente said he did not want to speak directly about those charges, but “there needs to be some changes made to the law on who can have a gun on school property. Whether it be off-duty officers or others.”

He said the next step is to check any updated case law and try to bring a defense for his client.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2367 or mdivittorio@tribweb.com, or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.

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