Family of slain Pittsburgh officer offers thanks as investigation continues
Detectives worked fervently Thursday to gather evidence and chase leads as they investigate the killing of a Pittsburgh police officer who was shot three times in the back while off-duty last weekend.
No arrests have been made.
Officer Calvin Hall died at UPMC Presbyterian hospital at about noon Wednesday, more than three days after he was shot early Sunday on Monticello Street in the city’s Homewood neighborhood, officials said.
The 36-year-old officer lived in West Mifflin and was engaged to be married, his family said. Hall previously worked as an officer in Braddock. Most recently, he was stationed in Pittsburgh’s Northview Heights.
Police are investigating Hall’s death as a homicide.
Officials did not disclose any possible suspects or pending charges as of Thursday afternoon.
The investigation “is active and ongoing,” Public Safety spokesman Chris Togneri said in a statement shortly after 3 p.m. “We have no updates at this time.”
Pittsburgh police Chief Scott Schubert has said it appears that Hall, though off-duty when he was shot, “was, in fact, acting under the color of the law.”
The initial investigation found that one or more parties were happening in homes and spilling out onto Monticello street around 1:30 a.m. Sunday when an argument broke out, police said.
It appears Hall was trying to prevent the situation from escalating when he was shot, his cousin, Dion Bowles, told the Tribune-Review.
On Wednesday night, Major Crimes Commander Victor Joseph said that he and his team have been gathering useful tips and statements from several witnesses and other sources. Detectives hope to reach a quick resolution to the case, Joseph said.
“What I can tell you is that we received a lot of cooperation from the community — citizens and businesses — and we’re receiving a lot of information at a rapid pace,” Joseph told reporters outside UPMC Presbyterian hours after Hall’s death.
Family expresses gratitude
Police released a statement from Hall’s family members, who are planning Hall’s funeral.
The family expressed gratitude to the many people who have demonstrated support and assistance, starting with the doctors, nurses and staff at UPMC Presbyterian.
“You worked incredibly hard to try to save his life, and for that we will be forever grateful,” the statement said.
The family thanked all of “Hall’s extended family — the men and women in blue,” especially those who work at the Northview Heights Public Safety Center, including supervisor Sgt. Joe Lewis.
“Officer Hall was so proud to be a part of a unit that was truly making a difference in the community,” the family said. “He spoke of his fellow officers and the substation often. We will not forget you.”
They said special visitors who came to the hospital to offer support and prayers included Braddock’s police chief and Officer Joe Bucci.
To Hall’s partner, Officer Reggie Eiland, the family said, “You never left his side. You were there day and night, as were so many other officers.”
The family’s statement also thanked Schubert, Zone 1 Commander Christopher Ragland, Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.
“There are so many others we want to thank, including those whose names we never learned,” Hall’s family said. “If we have forgotten anyone, please forgive us. But know that your kindness and devotion did not go unrecognized. We thank you all for working around the clock to support Officer Hall and his family.”
Family members plan to announce information about funeral arrangements once finalized.
Officials asked anyone with information about the fatal shooting to call police at 412-323-7800.
Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter .