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East Huntingdon man dies following police chase

Mary Pickels
| Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014, 11:27 p.m.
Police conduct an investigation Wednesday night at the scene of a shooting on Quarry Street in Mt. Pleasant.
Kelly Vernon | Trib Total Media
Police conduct an investigation Wednesday night at the scene of a shooting on Quarry Street in Mt. Pleasant.
Police conduct an investigation Wednesday night at the scene of a shooting on Quarry Street in Mt. Pleasant.
Kelly Vernon
Police conduct an investigation Wednesday night at the scene of a shooting on Quarry Street in Mt. Pleasant.

An East Huntingdon man who was apparently despondent over a failed romantic relationship died Wednesday night from a gunshot wound after leading police on a high-speed chase through Hempfield and Mt. Pleasant Borough, investigators said.

The victim, identified as Ryan Senko, 22, was pronounced dead at 10:16 p.m. at UPMC Presbyterian hospital, a spokesman for the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said.

Late Wednesday evening, Greensburg state police Lt. James Shaw said it remained undetermined if Senko was shot or shot himself.

“There were multiple shots fired. I have not gotten to talk to the officers involved or view the video recorder yet,” Shaw said at the scene.

Earlier in the day, Shaw said, relatives of Senko's came to the police barracks with a mental health warrant.

“We were actively searching for him. We knew who he was,” Shaw said.

He said Senko was in possession of a gun, and there was concern that he might hurt himself or others.

Police officers at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, where Senko was believed to be heading to visit an ex-girlfriend, were alerted, Shaw said.

“They initiated the pursuit and called us. We were the primary (responders),” he said.

Police pursued Senko at speeds exceeding 90 mph, Shaw said.

“He was definitely evading us,” he said.

Senko's weapon was recovered at the scene, Shaw said.

Police officers remained along Quarry Street past 11:30 p.m., where several neighbors stood outside watching.

“I saw two cop cars go by one way, then two more came from the other direction,” said Quarry Street resident Holli Brentzel.

“When EMS got here, he (police officer) yelled, ‘Gunshot to the head,'” Brentzel said. “We were sitting outside. We heard no gunshots.”

Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or mpickels@tribweb.com. Reporter Mike Hasch contributed to this report.

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