D.A. Zappala Clears Penn Hills Officer In Fatal Shooting

police body camera was essential to clearing Penn Hills officer Jared Rothert

Joe DeStio
August 22, 2019 - 1:18 pm
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Related: One Suspect Dead Another In Custody After Shooting In Penn Hills

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - District Attorney Stephen Zappala says the fatal shooting of a homicide suspect by a Penn Hills police officer last month was justified.

Zappala says the police body camera was essential to clearing Penn Hills officer Jared Rothert for the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Onaje Dickinson.

“Three shots, officer backs up, stumbles, returns fire and Mr. Dickinson is dead,” said Zapalla.

Police were called when a suspected drug dealer 30-year-old Joshua Antonio Makhanda-Lopez was found shot in the head, dead in a Chevy Impala on Frankstown Road.

Police were directed to a house on Frankstown Road where a woman on the porch of the residence, encouraged by police, told four young men to come out.

Three did the fourth did not and when confronted by police in the house he fired at a Penn Hills officer who returned fire killing Dickinson. Police say Dickinson pulled the trigger killing Lopez.

15-Year-Old Myzle Ford, one of the suspects that came out of the house without incident, also faces homicide, robbery conspiracy and other charges.

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