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Homewood man to stand trial on charges from police shootout

| Thursday, July 11, 2013, 2:24 p.m.

A man accused of critically injuring a Pittsburgh police officer in an April 11 shootout will stand trial on the charges.

James Robert Hill, 24, of Homewood waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Thursday in Pittsburgh Municipal Court, where city officers crowded the courtroom and lobby in a show of support for injured Officer Morgan Jenkins.

Prosecutors added an aggravated assault charge against Hill for injuring Officer Michelle Auge in the early morning encounter near Apple Avenue in Homewood.

Hill's arraignment on charges of attempted homicide, assaulting an officer, fleeing police, illegally having a gun and other crimes is scheduled for Aug. 27. He is being held at the Allegheny County Jail.Police said Hill fought with and fled from Jenkins and Auge and fired several shots, striking Jenkins once. The bullet hit Jenkins in the left arm and traveled into his chest, nicked his lung and stopped close to his spine, police said.

Police shot at Hill and struck him as many as five times.

Jenkins, who attended the hearing, uses a wheelchair.

“It's a traumatic incident,” said Sgt. Michael LaPorte, president of Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge. No. 1. “When one of our own becomes a victim, we want to support him as much as we can.”

Hill's attorney, Milton Raiford, said he didn't think his client would benefit from a preliminary hearing.

“I don't think anything would've been gained by having the officers testify to something that was very horrific for them,” Raiford said.

Margaret Harding is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8519 or mharding@tribweb.com.

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