3 dead, including Canonsburg police officer, in ambush
Dalia Sabae told police her husband threatened to kill her and their unborn child.
She sought a court order last month to keep him away and bar him from their Canonsburg home.
But early Thursday, Michael Cwiklinski, 47, ambushed Canonsburg police officer Scott Leslie Bashioum and another borough officer, identified by Trib news partner WPXI-TV as James Saieva, as they responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at the home.
He shot and killed Bashioum and Sabae and wounded Saieva before shooting and killing himself, police said.
"This should not have happened," said Becky Travaglini, a Canonsburg resident who put a teddy bear belonging to her late mother at a growing memorial outside the municipal building of the borough of about 8,960 people. "Not here. It's not fair. In this town, we're all family."
Bashioum, 52, of Washington was a Canonsburg police officer for seven years. Sabae, 28, was from Egypt and worked as a pharmacist technician at a drug store.
Saieva was flown from Canonsburg to the trauma center at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh's North Side. He is in fair condition, hospital spokesman Dan Laurent said.
Protection from abuse orders sought by Sabae against Cwiklinski show a violent and abusive relationship. Sabae said he beat her, bruised her and yanked her by the hair. She said he had sex with her when she said refused and threatened her green card if she continued to refuse.
At the end of November 2015, Cwiklinski hit Sabae in face with a grocery bag full of heavy cans, according to a criminal complaint from North Strabane police. Sabae went to the hospital; Cwiklinski was arrested.
Sabae told police she wasn't able to report the assault to authorities until two days later "because of the controlling environment (the) victim lives in. Cwiklinski refused to permit his wife to receive medical attention." She told police the injury to her eye caused headaches.
In a PFA sought after the incident, Sabae wrote that Cwiklinski had hit her in stomach, pushed her and hit her with things. He once grabbed her head by her hair and put her face in a plate, the report stated. He didn't allow her to have friends. He restricted her access to the phone and computer and would take her money, she said.
"He will have sex with me even if I say no and he will ask me to do things that I am not comfortable with," she wrote. "He used sex as a way to threaten me about my green card."
That PFA was dismissed in December by Washington County Senior Judge John C. Reed, who could not be reached for comment Thursday.
In the PFA that Sabae filed against Cwiklinski last month, she said he drunkenly threatened to kill her and the couple's baby.
"He was saying that I and our baby that I am pregnant with have to die," Sabae said in the PFA. She told authorities Cwiklinski was "extremely intoxicated," destroyed some of their belongings and tried to keep her away from a phone.
Somewhat steady stream of people walking up and adding to the memorial for Canonsburg officer Scott Bashioum. pic.twitter.com/OfY1nlApff— Megan (@meganguzaTrib) November 10, 2016
A man who answered the door at the home of Cwiklinski's parents in Chartiers declined to talk to reporters. He said he was sorry about what happened.
People living nearby said Cwiklinski was hardworking, sometimes seen helping his dad work on cars, but also often angry.
Neighbors of Cwiklinski and Sabae on Woodcrest Drive said they heard several gunshots about 3:15 a.m.
John Darby, who lives across the street, said he looked out his front window and saw a police officer lying on the ground behind his car, which was parked on the street. Another officer was tending to the officer. Moments later, a police SUV arrived and the officer was loaded into it and driven away, he said.
David Belchick lives two doors down Woodcrest from the house where the shooting took place. He said he saw a Canonsburg police SUV race to the scene, load up one officer and speed away. The same SUV then returned and loaded another officer, speeding away again.
"Whoever that officer was, he was really brave to come up and rescue them," Belchick said.
Belchick heard 12 to 15 shots at about 3:15 or 3:30 a.m. About an hour later, he said, he heard three more shots.
Authorities said a neighbor called Thursday to report the domestic disturbance. The officers arrived in separate vehicles but at nearly the same time. They immediately were fired upon, said state police Trooper David Heckman.
Officials said when authorities entered the home shortly after 9 a.m., they found the bodies of Cwiklinski and Sabae.
Heckman said it was unclear whether the shooting was premeditated.
"He laid in wait and fired upon the officers as they arrived speaks for itself," Heckman said.
Bashioum died of a gunshot wound, according to Washington County Coroner Tim Warco. Bashioum was pronounced dead at 4:10 a.m. at Canonsburg Hospital.
The flag outside the Canonsburg Borough Building was lowered to half-staff about 8 a.m. Signs throughout Canonsburg reflected the community's grief.
The Canonsburg community is coming together. A couple brought coffee to officers at the scene and signs of support along West Pike pic.twitter.com/ORdLXLf3WW— Aaron Aupperlee (@tinynotebook) November 10, 2016
"Honoring their service. Remembering their sacrifice. Prayers and love to our fallen officer, fellow officers and family," a sign outside Last Call Bar on West Pike Street near the scene read.
Residents and neighbors streamed down the sidewalk of East Pike Street where they put up a makeshift memorial under the flag outside the police department and borough complex.
Resident Joe Cafeo and his 5-year-old daughter brought flowers to the memorial around 11 a.m.
"Just to pay our respects," he said. "So I can show my daughter the importance of supporting the police."
Jeffrey's Drug Store, where Sabae worked, closed excepted for drive-through service and issued a statement expressing sympathy for those involved.
"Words cannot express how deeply saddened we are today in learning about the tragic loss of our cherished employee, co-worker and friend, Dalia Sabae," the statement read.
Patrick Kostelich said he knows Saieva and lowered the flags in front of his house less than a half-mile from the scene to half-staff.
"It's a shock for me," Kostelich said. "This kind of thing doesn't happen in Canonsburg."
Megan Guza and Aaron Aupperlee are Tribune-Review staff writers. Reach them at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. The Associated Press contributed to this report.