Officers shoot, kill serial bank robbery suspect who held woman at knifepoint in Wilkinsburg
Police shot and killed a serial bank robbery suspect Wednesday in a Wilkinsburg apartment as he held a woman at knifepoint, authorities said.
The shooting happened about 9:30 p.m. inside an apartment on Center Street, according to police. The man, later identified as Shawn Stevens, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Wednesday’s incident began when a man robbed the Citizens Bank inside the Edgewood Towne Centre Giant Eagle, according to Allegheny County Police Inspector Andrew Schurman.
After county police conferred with Pittsburgh detectives and FBI agents, it was determined through surveillance video that the suspect was the same man wanted for bank robberies in Squirrel Hill and Shadyside, Schurman said.
Pittsburgh police earlier that day had issued two warrants for Stevens, 49, in connection with the Shadyside and Squirrel Hill robberies.
A tip led authorities from the FBI, county police and Pittsburgh police to Wilkinsburg and, later, an apartment building, Schurman said, where they believed Stevens might be hiding.
While going door to door in the building, Steven emerged behind a woman who was speaking to police and tried to slam the door, hitting a Pittsburgh detective in the leg, Schurman said.
He said the officers were able to get into the apartment, where they found Stevens holding a kitchen knife. Stevens allegedly ignored commands to drop the knife, instead threatening to stab the women inside the apartment. Schurman said he lunged at one woman with the knife, knocking her to the ground.
Schurman said one detective twice deployed a Taser, but “it had little to no effect on Stevens.”
Stevens lunged at the woman again, at which point a Pittsburgh detective and FBI agent both opened fire, hitting Stevens, Schurman said. Authorities provided first aid to no avail, and paramedics pronounced Stevens dead at the scene.
County police and the FBI will investigate the shooting and turn findings over to the District Attorney’s Office as well as the Department of Justice, Schurman said.
Chris Togneri, spokesman for Pittsburgh Public Safety, said one city detective sustained a minor leg injury. He said the woman who was held at knifepoint was not injured.