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Off-duty officer fatally shot friend in Bloomfield bar, Pittsburgh police say

| Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, 9:46 a.m.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review
Geanetta DiMatteo, 80, walks past Condrin's Tavern on Torley Street in Bloomfield, where a man was fatally shot on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.

An early morning fight in a little Bloomfield bar ended with an off-duty Pittsburgh officer fatally shooting a friend, police say, and several tight-knit families left wondering what happened.

“Alcohol, guns and a bar; they don't mix,” said Kevin Evans, 41, a cousin of shooting victim Shawn Evans of Bloomfield.

Police said the officer, identified by investigators and neighbors as Kenneth Farnan, 50, of Lawrenceville, fought with Shawn Evans, 56, in Condrin's Tavern about 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

Police said they have not charged anyone, pending a review of the case by Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.'s office.

Farnan could not be reached for comment. Police and neighbors said he has been off work and on workers' compensation since 2010. Details of his leave were not available.

Neighbors said Evans was married to Norma Condrin, who runs the bar with her brother, Matthew Condrin. People who answered the door at Norma Condrin's home declined to comment.

A woman who answered the phone at the home of Matthew Condrin, who owns the liquor license at the inconspicuous tavern on Torley Street, said he would not comment because of the police investigation.

“(Evans') children went to school with my children, the Condrins grew up over here ... the Farnans, I knew them all my life as well,” said Phyllis Rhoads, 51, who lives across the street from Matthew Condrin. “They all knew each other. ... I'm torn because my heart goes out to both families.”

Rhoads and others said Evans and Farnan were longtime friends. Children in their families played sports together.

Linda Schaffner, who identified herself as Norma Condrin's sister, said their parents owned the bar for decades before passing it to Norma and her brother.

Condrin and Evans had been married for 22 years, and though he often helped to maintain the bar, he didn't drink there often, Schaffner said. He decided to stop at the bar on Saturday for a few drinks after work as a truck driver and mechanic.

“We don't really have the details of what happened, just that there was an argument and a shooting, and now (Shawn) is gone,” Schaffner said. “They'd been friends for years … the other guy just snapped.

“He never should have been carrying that gun. Why the guy had a gun, as a disabled cop, is beyond me.”

Police spokeswoman Diane Richard provided scant details about the shooting.

Witnesses told police that the pair fought inside the bar. During a second fight, Evans was shot several times. He died at the scene. Farnan was in the bar when officers arrived.

Police did not say what the fight was about.

Zappala spokesman Mike Manko said the office will review the incident, which is part of police protocol when a shooting or car chase involves an officer.

Hours after the shooting, residents lingered on Torley Street, talking privately about the incident. The bar was closed.

“I found out as I was walking down the street,” said Kevin Evans, who recalled his cousin as a good guy. “This was my last stop on my way home from work; me and him would always meet on Saturdays.”

Matthew Santoni and Thomas Olson are staff writers for Trib Total Media.

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