Off-duty cop shoots county jail guard after bar fight
An off-duty Aliquippa police officer accused of shooting a jail guard in Carrick early Thanksgiving Day had helped the guard break up a fight inside a Brentwood bar less than an hour before, the bar owner said.
Aron Schutzeus, owner of Milestones bar on Brownsville Road near the border with Pittsburgh, said Friday that the pair appeared friendly before they left with a group of other patrons.
Moments earlier, he said, they had broken up a fight between two women inside the bar.
Schutzeus said he viewed bar surveillance footage of the pair inside and outside. Video shows them holding back the women and later leaving with the group, he said.
“It looks like they were friendly all the time,” Schutzeus said. “They literally stopped the fight inside that was happening between two girls. Outside the bar on the cameras, there's no animosity or nothing. They were literally within two feet of each other a lot of the time, and there was no trouble between them at all. I don't know what all changed.”
Police said the officer pulled a gun about 3 a.m. and shot the guard in the stomach several blocks away from the bar, near Stewart Avenue and Windfall Way in Carrick.
Their names had yet to be released because Pittsburgh police and the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office were continuing to investigate. Schutzeus said city detectives viewed the surveillance footage Friday afternoon.
Aliquippa police Chief Don Couch confirmed one of his officers is on leave because of the incident. It was unclear at which jail the guard worked.
Police said the 29-year-old jail guard was in stable condition at UPMC Mercy and may have threatened to shoot the 24-year-old officer.
Schutzeus said both men have patronized his bar but are not regulars. Neither man had previously caused any trouble, he said.
“After they left the bar, it was all done, and they all went their separate ways,” he said. “It was like (2:10 a.m.) when everybody was out of the bar, and it was almost 3 in the morning when (the shooting) happened. Something had to be going on for a while after that.”
The Associated Press contributed. Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-765-2312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.