A gunman is dead following a standoff that lasted six hours in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood. The standoff prompted evacuations as the gunman exchanged gunfire with police.
Police said the “active shooter” was barricaded inside a home on the 4800 block of Broad Street and N. Mathilda Street. Pittsburgh Public Safety alerted the public of the shooting around 11 a.m. Police said the suspect was pronounced dead shortly after 5 p.m.
The suspect opened fire when sheriff’s deputies approached the property to serve an eviction. An attorney said the home involved was bought at a sheriff’s sale and deputies were going to remove a man who was “basically squatting,” knowing it could turn violent.
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A spokesperson for the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office said a sergeant who was leading the detail at the scene was injured while avoiding the incoming gunfire. He was not seriously injured and is expected to be okay, officials said.
According to Pittsburgh Public Safety, officers evacuated people from their houses in the 4800 block of Broad Street. They were asking anyone in the area to shelter in place.
It’s believed that “hundreds of rounds” were fired. As the Pittsburgh police SWAT team arrived at the scene, the suspect is believed to have shot down two police drones.
“First officers on scene arrived very quickly and now that incident is always developing as we just heard about 30 to 40 gunshots go back and forth,” state police Trooper Rocco Gagliardi said in an update around 1:30 p.m. “So we’re actively working with all emergency crews on scene to make sure we end this in the safest way possible.”
Abefore she was evacuated said her home was hit by gunfire.
“Trying to get to the basement was almost unbearable,” she said. “Shots were ringing out everywhere. Finally made it to the basement, was able to get to a secure spot. Shots were just everywhere.”
“Shots came through the window for the living room, I have holes in the bathroom, glass is shattered everywhere,” she added.
Her husband was at work when he found out his wife was at home barricaded alone.
“Finally, I got in touch with her, she’s frantic in the basement, screaming, crying,” he said. “My first thing was to get home, you know what I mean? So I get here and everything is blocked off and I hear gunshots and everything. It’s just something I’ve never heard of or imagined in this neighborhood.”
One witness who is visiting the area said he was terrified when shots began to ring out.
“In the beginning, all we heard was the cops,” witness Chris Wilkinson, who is visiting family in the area, said. “They were banging on the door where the shooting takes place. They were banging on it telling him they were there. And after a couple of minutes of them doing it, they started to kick down the door, but after a few tries they couldn’t do it. Then, they got a sledgehammer and took down the door, and after that shots started to be fired. I’ve been really nervous and it’s really sad what’s happening. You think you can be safe here but you can’t with what’s happening.”
Pittsburgh Public Safety said thewould take over the investigation.