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Pennsylvania state trooper shoots man after Hempfield stabbing, 2 dead

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By Mary Pickels and Jason Cato

Published: Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, 3:51 p.m.

A state trooper on Sunday shot and killed a man believed to have fatally stabbed a woman in a Westmoreland County Housing Authority complex, authorities said.

“Unfortunately, we were not able to save her,” Trooper Steven Limani of the Greensburg barracks said of Anita M. Sabol, 56, of Hempfield Towers on South Grande Boulevard in Hempfield.

The man who police believe stabbed her and who subsequently was shot by police was identified as Rodney L. Golden, 41, of Greensburg.

Both were transported and pronounced dead in the emergency room in Excela Westmoreland in Greensburg. Autopsies are planned for Monday, a deputy coroner said.

Law enforcement officials responded to Hempfield Towers when a neighbor reported a domestic incident about 12:25 p.m., Limani said.

“The caller said that he was a neighbor who heard a domestic dispute. He went out into the hallway. He saw a female that seemed in distress, and he saw a male actually grab a knife and cut her across the throat,” Limani said.

“From there, the (man) ends up fleeing the apartment complex and ends up outside,” Limani said.

Golden was confronted by state troopers and police officers from South Greensburg, Southwest Greensburg and Greensburg.

He ignored several commands, Limani said. Officers deployed stun guns, but the weapons were not effective, he said.

“(Golden) became very aggressive, threatened and lunged at a trooper,” Limani said. “The trooper then discharged his firearm to stop the attack.”

Limani declined to say how many shots were fired, citing the ongoing investigation.

Police said Sabol was a tenant at the residence, and Golden was believed to be her boyfriend.

“It appeared they had some type of relationship where they were dating,” Limani said.

Mike Washowich, housing authority executive director, said the incident was a “tragedy.” He was unable to confirm on Sunday whether Golden was a resident.

“It's a secure building,” Washowich said.

Residents use key cards to enter their apartments, which he said are equipped with cameras that tenants can use to see their visitors.

“If a tenant elects to press the buzzer and let somebody in, that is their (option),” Washowich said.

Resident John Smartnick said he knew Sabol, who resided on the third floor. He said he sometimes gave her rides to doctor appointments or to run errands.

“This woman here, she was a very nice girl. She never bothered anybody. After I found out somebody (killed) her, I really felt bad for her,” Smartnick said.

Limani said the investigation was ongoing and more details would be released on Monday after the autopsies.

Mary Pickels and Jason Cato are Trib Total Media staff writers. Pickels can be reached at 724-836-5401 or Cato can be reached at 412-320-7936 or



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