Man charged with shooting at police, robbing Family Dollar store in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh police charged a suspect with multiple crimes, including robbery and attempted homicide, following a shootout Friday night at a Family Dollar Store in the East Hills neighborhood that happened about 45 minutes after a robbery at a Family Dollar in Penn Hills.
An Allegheny County deputy sheriff shot Timothy Franks, 21, in both legs and the left arm during the gun battle, according to a criminal complaint. Franks was critically wounded and is under police guard at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.
Pittsburgh Police Cmdr. Mike Pilyih told the Tribune-Review that county sheriffs and city officers rushed to the Family Dollar after receiving a call at 9:30 p.m. that armed men were entering the store along Frankstown Road. When they arrived they found only Franks, according to the complaint.
Franks began firing a .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol at two deputies and a Pittsburgh officer as soon as they entered, according to the complaint.
“They immediately took gunfire from an armed actor in the store,” Pilyih said. “They fired back. There was an exchange of gunfire. The actor was struck.”
It was unclear Saturday whether Franks is a suspect in the Penn Hills robbery. Police would say only that the two are “possibly connected.”
The two stores are about two miles apart on Frankstown Avenue. Penn Hills police could not immediately be reached Saturday for comment.
One of the deputies applied a tourniquet to Franks’ leg, which was bleeding profusely, until Pittsburgh paramedics arrived.
No one else was shot, including several customers and three employees who were in the store. A Pittsburgh officer was injured by broken glass and a deputy sheriff suffered a thumb injury.
Witnesses told police that Franks entered the store wearing a mask, sunglasses, gloves and a hood and at gunpoint ordered an employee to empty a cash register. After the employee placed the cash into a bag, Franks allegedly ordered the store manager to open a safe.
Officers arrived at that point.
The earlier robbery happened around 8:15 p.m. Friday.
Penn Hills Police Chief Howard Burton said officers were looking for a thin man, about 6-feet 2-inches tall, wearing a black jacket over a navy blue hooded sweatshirt, black rimmed glasses and Nike-brand boots. The suspect had tattoos of numbers on his fingers and a tattoo above an eyebrow.
Franks is 5-feet-7 inches tall, according to the criminal complaint.
Police said the Penn Hills suspect brandished a silver-and-black handgun before getting money in a bag and fleeing along Frankstown Road.
Burton said several customers and at least two employees were in the store. No one was injured.
Police ask that anyone with information call Penn Hills or Allegheny County Police.
Call Penn Hills police at 412-342-1188. Facebook: PennHillsPolice. Tweet: @PennHillsPolice. County police can be contacted at 911.
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @bobbauder.
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, email@example.com or via Twitter .