Police officer in Wilkinsburg shooting was shot on duty in 2013
A Pittsburgh police officer hailed as a hero when he was wounded during a gunfight last year shot and killed a gunman during a confrontation early Monday in Wilkinsburg.
Adrian Williams, 29, of Beechview, who had a conviction for illegal gun possession and a history of confrontations with police, was shot at 3:08 a.m. near the corner of Ross Street and South Trenton Avenue, police said. He was pronounced dead 11 minutes later by paramedics.
An autopsy showed that he died of gunshot wounds in the trunk, a spokesman for the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said.
Officer Christopher Kertis, who joined the force in July 2011, was placed on administrative duty, which is standard procedure during an investigation into shootings involving police officers, said Pittsburgh Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler.
On March 17, 2013, Kertis was shot in both legs and broke both wrists during a confrontation near the Port Authority East Busway station in Homewood. He spent two months recovering and received the “Above and Beyond” award for heroism.
Dante A. Bonner, 20, of Homewood is awaiting trial, accused of being the gunman in that case.
The shooting on Monday is under investigation by Allegheny County police and the District Attorney's Office.
County police Superintendent Charles Moffatt said the incident began when city police spotted a gun in a car parked outside a club on Hamilton Avenue in Homewood.
When officers saw Williams get into the car and drive off, they tried to stop him. Instead, Moffatt said, Williams sped away, traveling along Penn Avenue and onto South Trenton, where he crashed.
“He jumps out of the vehicle and runs between some houses and backyards onto Ross Street, where the officer sees a gun in his hand and tells him to stop,” Moffatt said. “Williams stumbles once, regains himself and tries to run away.”
Moffatt said investigators are trying to determine if Williams pointed the handgun — a 9 mm Smith & Wesson — at Kertis.
“The officer fires and shoots him multiple times,” Moffatt said. “(Williams) tosses the gun away as he is falling.”
The weapon, which had not been reported stolen, is being tested to determine if it was fired during the confrontation, Moffatt said.
County police will talk to the gun owner — who does not live in the area — in an attempt to learn how it ended up in Williams' hands.
Moffatt said at least one other officer saw Williams running with a gun in his hand, but preliminary indications are that Kertis was the only officer to fire his weapon.
The superintendent and District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. say it is too early to determine if the use of deadly force was justified.
“The Allegheny County Police Homicide Unit is the lead agency, and our office is also participating in the investigation of the death of Adrian Williams,” Zappala spokesman Mike Manko said.
“There is a great deal of information being gathered and developed, and at this point, it would not be appropriate to comment, nor would it be appropriate to follow up on any statements that were made public earlier today,” Manko said.
Williams was sentenced last month to five years' probation after pleading guilty to charges of fleeing or attempting to elude police, reckless endangerment, possession of marijuana and traffic violations, state court records show.
In 2004, he received six months of probation for resisting arrest, receiving stolen property and carrying a firearm without a license, records show. He pleaded guilty to drug charges in 2007 and was awaiting trial on drug possession charges filed in January.
Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or email@example.com. Staff writer Jason Cato contributed to this report.
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.
- $5M Penn Avenue reconstruction project is ‘killing everything’
- Monongahela mayor sues district judge, district attorney over theft charges
- Duquesne Club seeks permission from city to keep 4 rooftop bee hives
- Controller recommends hiring to reduce 911 center overtime
- CMU grad, startup CEO reaches out to youth with Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Pressley Ridge students craft Penguins mural
- American Red Cross celebrates heroic deeds with recognition at Consol Energy Center
- Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh opposes hotel proposal for August Wilson Center
- Beaver Co. commissioners allow deputy sheriffs to escort motorcycle run
- Bethel Park police chief to retire in mid-October