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Standoff ends with Fayette City man's suicide

| Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 9:26 a.m.
Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
717 Rostraver Street, Monessen was the scene of an apparent suicide on Monday, July 21,2014.

A Fayette City man fatally shot himself Monday afternoon inside a Monessen residence as Pennsylvania State Police attempted to arrest him on an outstanding bench warrant.

Police said Jackie Lee Sabo, 37, of 107 Johnson Hollow Road, took his own life as they served the warrant around 4 p.m. at 717 Rostraver St.

Sabo was pronounced dead a short time later by Westmoreland County Deputy Coroner Tim O'Donnell.

Rodney Jones, who also resides at the residence, said he was in an upstairs living room when police entered the house Monday afternoon. Jones said he heard the commotion, and when he tried to come downstairs he was pushed back by police.

“I was told to stay upstairs while they handled their business,” Jones said while standing in his front yard around 5:45 p.m. “I heard the gunshot. I heard everything. They were trying to talk Jackie into the putting the gun down. They kept telling him to surrender his weapon.”

A state police corporal who was gathered at the side of the house with detectives from the State Police Criminal Investigation Unit declined comment.

Jones said Sabo had recently been staying at the house.

“When I came out of the house, I was shaking,” Jones said. “I still can't believe this happened. I feel numb.”

Sabo had been wanted on counts of possession of a firearm prohibited, terroristic threats, false imprisonment, simple assault and harassment stemming from a July 3 incident involving his girlfriend in Fayette City, police said.

The warrant came out of the office of Magisterial District Judge Richard Kasunic II in Perry Township.

State police at the Belle Vernon barracks said they had no other information to release about Monday's incident. Attempts to reach Trooper Stefani Plume, Public Information Officer for Troop B in Fayette County, were unsuccessful Monday evening.

Monessen police, who assisted during the attempted arrest, referred all questions to state police.

Contacted at the Westmoreland County Coroner's office Monday night, O'Donnell said Sabo's official cause of death will likely be determined following a Tuesday autopsy.

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 724-684-2635.