Charges against home residents considered in Baldwin Borough friendly-fire case
Baldwin Borough police are consulting with the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office to determine if they will file charges in connection with a domestic call that led to a police shooting.
Sgt. Ralph Miller, 54, had another surgery at UPMC Mercy, Uptown, on Monday, a day after a fellow officer accidentally shot him in the back with an AR-15 rifle, police said. Investigators would not identify the officer who opened fire during a struggle to open the door of the home on Elmwood Drive early Sunday, or the boyfriend of the woman who called 911.
Chief Michael Scott said doctors were optimistic Miller would recover. “But it's going to be a long process,” he said.
Investigators are reviewing whether they can file charges against the residents of the home, Scott said. Charges could include child endangerment because the couple had two young girls in the house. Officers found OxyContin in the man's sock, and also are investigating whether he is permitted to have a gun, Scott said.
The District Attorney's Office referred comment to police.
The chief said he has no doubt the shooting was an accident.
“The investigation is not complete, but it certainly would lead to support the idea that the holding open of the door” and other issues at the scene likely led to the gun firing, Scott said. Police were trying to determine why the officer fired two rounds and why another officer fired a third shot into the house. Those officers were placed on leave.
Police union representatives referred comment to Scott.
Police initially treated the 3:45 a.m. call as a possible hostage situation, Scott said. The woman told dispatchers that her boyfriend was distraught and carrying a loaded shotgun. Officers closed the road and surrounded the house. The woman later said the man had unloaded the gun.
A man opened the door, only showing one hand containing a milk jug and refusing to show his other hand to Miller and the other officer at the door. He tried to shut the door on them, police said. Miller pushed the door open, and the officer with the AR-15 put his foot in the door. That's when the gun fired, hitting Miller at least once between his belt and bulletproof vest.
Scott said his officers receive frequent training, including in how to surround a home and respond to domestic calls.
Bethel Park police Chief John Mackey, chairman of the South Hills Area Council of Governments' chiefs committee, said most joint training has been geared toward responding to incidents in public areas such as schools.
Staff writer Margaret Harding contributed to this report. Stephanie Hacke and Matthew Santoni are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Hacke can be reached at 412-388-5818 or email@example.com. Santoni can be reached at 412-380-5625 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Castle Shannon mayor honored by statewide association
- McCandless residents voice opposition to Wal-Mart plan
- Squirrel Hill street that had been paved getting another pave job
- Shenango asks judge to dismiss suit by environmental group
- Pittsburgh Cultural Trust leads applicants seeking increase in RAD money
- TSA fee increase this week arrives with load of complaints
- Ukrainian festival will go on in McKees Rocks despite crisis in homeland
- Moon Area board reconfigures elementary buildings, votes again to close school and explore merging with Cornell
- 1 intruder killed, another injured in Carrick home invasion
- Newsmaker: Mary Jo Dively
- Thousands relish thrill of Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix