Police shoot at driver, mother during wild car ride on South Side
Jan 13, 2013 (The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Five off-duty Pittsburgh police officers opened fire early Sunday on a driver who fled authorities and struck at least five parked cars on East Carson Street, city police Chief Nathan Harper said.
He said the driver, 37, and his passenger -- identified as his mother -- were hospitalized in serious condition. It was not clear how many shots were fired. Police did not release the victims' names or describe their injuries.
A six- to eight-minute pursuit began shortly after 1:30 a.m. on Eighth Avenue in Homestead when the motorist ran a red light, Harper said. He said the driver fled toward Pittsburgh's South Side, where off-duty city officers carrying emergency radios tried to move people along Carson Street to safety.
Officers who were along several blocks of Carson Street shot at the car after it began driving into parked vehicles there, Harper said. One bystander reported she was grazed by a bullet, although she did not seek medical treatment, he said. Police are looking into her report.
"The officers felt the deadly force they used was justified" because the driver was using his vehicle as a weapon, Harper said.
Police said they stopped chasing the suspect's car as it approached Carson Street because of the number of pedestrians on a Saturday night. Instead, police arranged spikes on the roadway and used gunfire to try to halt the driver.
Harper said the car finally stopped near East Carson and 13th streets, where it rear-ended another vehicle. The car had veered toward police officers in the area, too, he said.
No other injuries were immediately reported. Harper said he understands the driver was wanted on multiple warrants.
Other police arrived after the pursuit to help control a crowd that materialized on Carson Street, he said. Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.'s office is investigating, as well.
Adam Smeltz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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