Police take into custody ‘person of interest’ in slain officer case, search Homewood house | TribLIVE.com
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Natasha Lindstrom

Police on Thursday took into custody a “person of interest” in the investigation into the fatal shooting of Pittsburgh police Officer Calvin Hall, officials said.

Officials did not name the person nor elaborate on the individual’s possible connections to the killing of Hall, who was shot three times in the back about 1:30 a.m. Sunday while off-duty during a block party on Monticello Street in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood.

Hall died in the hospital Wednesday He was 36.

“A person of interest in the Officer Calvin Hall homicide investigation is in custody on unrelated charges,” Department of Public Safety spokesman Chris Togneri said about 8:30 p.m. He would not cite the charges.

“At this time, we have no additional information to release,” Togneri said. “Police continue to investigate.”

Detectives return to crime scene

Earlier in the day, detectives and patrol officers swarmed Monticello Street and remained there for several hours, with officers removing evidence from a house and carrying it to a crime scene investigation unit truck, Trib news partner WPXI-TV reports.

Among items removed and marked as evidence: a rectangular cardboard box labeled “DPMS Panther Arms,” WPXI’s Amy Hudak reports. DPMS Panther Arms is a St. Cloud, Minn.-based military and civilian rifle manufacturer whose products include AR-15-style rifles.

Authorities have released scant details on what happened.

Hall, who lived in West Mifflin and was stationed as an officer in Northview Heights, had been visiting friends in Homewood on Saturday night while at least one party was going on, police said.

Zone 5 police officers responded to a report of shots fired and found Hall suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, police said.

Officials told the Tribune-Review that it appears the off-duty officer was shot after trying to intervene in a fight that broke out in the street between people he did not know.

On Sunday, police “detained several people who had gathered at a party near the crime scene for questioning,” Togneri said. A SWAT team was called in to search a house.

Pittsburgh police Chief Scott Schubert has said it appears that Hall, though not on-duty, “was, in fact, acting under the color of the law.”

Police seek public’s help

Hours after Hall’s death, Major Crimes Commander Victor Joseph said that he and his team hoped to reach a speedy resolution to the case. He said he was grateful to many individuals as well as local businesses that have reached out since the shooting.

“The net is definitely closing, and it’s closing fast,” Joseph said Wednesday night outside UPMC Presbyterian hospital.

Togneri reiterated the bureau’s request for anyone with relevant information to contact police.

“We have received tremendous cooperation from the public on this investigation, which has aided detectives. We now renew our call to the community: If you have any information, please share it with police,” Togneri said. “Police investigations are always more successful when witnesses come forward with information.”

Detectives can be reached at 412-323-7800. Tips can remain anonymous.

RELATED: Family of slain Pittsburgh officer offers thanks as investigation continues

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