Man rammed police SUV, drove at cops in Kennedy shooting, officials say
A man shot and wounded by police during a drug sting in Kennedy rammed a police SUV twice then sped toward other officers, prompting them to fire at the man, authorities said Wednesday
Chase Kenney, 27, remains in Allegheny General Hospital recovering from two gunshot wounds to his right forearm and shrapnel injuries to the right side of his head, said Pennsylvania State Police Capt. Joseph Ruggery.
The undercover drug purchase was set to take place in the parking lot of the shuttered Shop n’ Save Tuesday in Kenmawr Plaza. The task force involved was comprised of the FBI, state police, Allegheny County police and officers from Stowe, Kennedy and the county housing authority.
The undercover deal was supposed to be for 10 bricks of heroin, Ruggery said.
“The vast majority of operations such as this end peacefully with the suspect surrendering,” he said. “However, as with any law enforcement encounter, the suspect’s actions always have the potential to quickly turn a simple arrest scenario into a life-or-death situation.”
Kenney arrived in the parking lot of the vacant store about 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, police say. Two police vehicles pulled in front of either side of Kenney’s red Ford Escape, a maneuver meant to block escape, Ruggery said.
Three officers — two state troopers and a Stowe officer — got out of those vehicles with weapons drawn and ordered Kenney out of the car. Ruggery said Kenney put the SUV into reverse and sped backward, ramming an unmarked state police SUV approaching from behind to block that escape route.
“He backed up at a high rate of speed and … intentionally struck the front of that vehicle, pulled forward slightly, backed up again and struck them a second time and, then, essentially turned and drove in the direction of several of those task force officers,” Ruggery said.
He said those officers had to scramble out of the way of Kenney’s SUV.
“At that time, they felt that they were subjected to a deadly force threat, so they fired their service weapons at that time,” he said.
Kenney drove another 150 feet before he stopped and began to surrender, Ruggery said. He was taken into custody, when an officer applied a tourniquet to keep Kenney from bleeding to death.
He was taken to the hospital, where he remains under guard.
Three officers were evaluated by medics: one for a hearing issue, one who was injured in the ramming and a third that was exposed to Kenney’s blood, Ruggery said.
Investigators declined to say how long the particular task force has been in operation and which department is leading it. Ruggery did not say whether investigators found drugs or weapons in Kenney’s vehicle. He said officers planned to secure a search warrant for the SUV.
Ruggery did not release the names of the two state troopers or the Stowe officer involved in the shooting, and an internal review of the shooting will be headed by a commander from a different state police troop.
Kenney is charged with two counts of aggravated assault, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and resisting arrest.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter .