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Police launch internal investigation into handling of Ka'Sandra Wade shooting

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By Tony LaRussa and Bill Vidonic
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, 6:54 p.m.
 

Pittsburgh police are investigating whether city police officers followed the proper procedures in clearing a 911 call from a Larimer home where a woman was found a day later shot to death.

“The Bureau of Police is conducting a homicide and internal investigation into this incident to determine if all bureau polices and procedures were followed,” Chief Nate Harper wrote in a statement issued on Saturday night.

“We are in the early stages of an ongoing investigation, and as such, the bureau will not answer or provide a statement ... into this incident.”

Pittsburgh police said they believe Anthony L. Brown, 51, fatally shot his girlfriend, Ka'Sandra Wade, 33, on Monday at her home on the 500 block of Lowell Street in Larimer and then committed suicide on Wednesday after a standoff at his apartment in Point Breeze.

Two officers from Zone 5 in Highland Park had gone to Wade's apartment on Monday in response to a 911 call that was disconnected, police said.

Wade's mother, Sharon Jordan, 58, of Aliquippa, said Pittsburgh police contacted her on Saturday and told her that someone in the apartment had dialed 911, and dispatchers heard “a muffled sound, like somebody was trying to talk,” before the call was disconnected.

One of the responding officers spoke to Brown through a window, and Brown told officers that “everything was OK,” Jordan said.

Police are trying to confirm that Brown denied the two officers entry to the apartment.

‘I'm really upset about it, and I wish it could have happened a little better than this,” Jordan said.

The 911 call did not specify the nature of the trouble, said Pittsburgh police Sgt. Mike LaPorte, who is president of the Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1.

LaPorte said questioning the two responding officers is routine.

“Anytime you have an incident like this, a murder-suicide, you ask questions of everyone involved,” LaPorte said. “The officers were treated no differently than any other person who might have knowledge of what might have happened.”

The police department would not identify the officers.

LaPorte said the officers have not requested legal representation from the union.

Members of Wade's family contacted the Zone 5 police station in Highland Park about 8 p.m. Tuesday, New Year's Day, concerned that Wade had not answered her telephone or her door and that she did not pick up her 10-year-old son.

Jordan said she talked to her daughter “sometime after 5 p.m.” New Year's Eve, when the two wished each other, “Happy New Year.” Jordan said her daughter gave no clue then that anything was wrong.

She said she's caring for her 10-year-old grandson, Zaire Brown, the son of her daughter and Brown.

“I'm just holding it together,” Jordan said. “I just don't understand this. It's just hard to comprehend.”

Late New Year's Day, officers forced their way into Wade's apartment and found her dead of a gunshot to her head and neck.

After police discovered Wade's body, investigators went to Brown's apartment on North Homewood Avenue where the standoff occurred. Brown would not open the door and told officers that he had a gun and was contemplating suicide, according to police.

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