Penn Hills teacher fatally shot by police in Shaler
A Shaler man was shot and killed by police at his home Tuesday during a domestic dispute call, authorities said.
The deceased was identified by the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office as Donald Babbit, 49.
Penn Hills School District said Babbit was a high school math teacher in a statement about his passing posted on the district’s website, phsd.k12.pa.us.
“Don was a beloved member of our staff and had the distinct reputation among students, families, and colleagues as being an exceptional teacher,” the statement read. “He will be missed.”
Grief counselors will be at the high school Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for any student, staff or community member. The Rev. Jay Mitlo of Faith Community Church is expected to be there as well during those times for additional support.
“It’s a terrible day for Penn Hills,” school board President Erin Vecchio said. “My sympathy goes out to his family. He was a great teacher and it’s very sad for the community.”
The incident remains under investigation.
Officers from Shaler, Hampton, Millvale and Indiana townships were dispatched to the 800 block of the Spencer Woods plan off Route 8, according to Superintendent Coleman McDonough of the Allegheny County Police Department.
McDonough said Shaler officers responded to an Allegheny County 911 call at 3:05 p.m. The woman who placed the call said her husband was “behaving erratically” and had access to weapons.
Officers surrounded the home and blocked off several streets in the area.
“Their concern was that none of the children in the area, in the neighborhood, could be harmed,” McDonough said.
Meanwhile, officers said they repeatedly asked Babbit via a public address system to exit the home. When he did, McDonough said, he was visibly armed with a handgun and pointed it at police.
Three officers fired, striking Babbit multiple times, McDonough said.
According to a statement from Allegheny County Police, two of the officers who fired were from Shaler and the third was from Hampton. All have been placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.
Babbit was pronounced dead shortly after 4 p.m.
Shaler police Lt. Sean Frank said all the officers who responded “are safe” but no additional information would be released until investigators have had more time to piece details together.
Neighbors told Tribune-Review news partner WPXI-TV that they heard a “barrage” of more than a dozen gunshots.
Allegheny County police are assisting Shaler police with the investigation, Frank said.