East Pittsburgh Officer Charged In Shooting Death Of Antwon Rose

East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld turned himself in on Wednesday morning.

Pittsburgh, PA – An East Pittsburgh police officer has been charged with criminal homicide in the June 19 death of 17-year-old Antwon Rose, who attempted to flee from a vehicle that was allegedly involved in a drive-by shooting just moments before.

Officer Michael Rosfeld, 30, turned himself in to police on Wednesday morning and was released on $250,000 bond, his attorney, Pat Thomassey told KDKA.

Allegheny County detectives who investigated the officer-involved shooting detailed their investigation in an eight-page criminal complaint, and wrote that at least two witnesses said Rose had nothing in his hand when he ran from the car, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

Detectives said Officer Rosfeld’s account of the incident was unclear, and that his story had changed since the initial telling.

"(Rosfeld) said this person turned his hand toward (Rosfeld) and he, (Rosfeld), saw something dark that he perceived as a gun," detectives wrote in the complaint. "This observation caused him to step from behind the cover of his car door to acquire a better view. He then fired his weapon."

But then details were changed the second time detectives asked Officer Rosfeld for the sequence of events, the Pittsburgh-Tribune Review reported.

"During that rendition, Rosfeld told the detectives that he did not see a gun when the passenger emerged and ran," the complaint read.

The second time around, Officer Rosfeld told detectives he’d seen something in the Rose’s hand but wasn’t sure what it was, and said he "was not certain if the individual who had his arm pointed at him was still pointing at him when he fired the shots," according to the complaint.

Rose was struck in the right side of his face, in his right elbow and in the middle of his back, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. The criminal complaint said the wound to the back was fatal.

The incident began at 8:27 p.m. on June 19, when police received “multiple calls” of shots fired in the borough of North Braddock, Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough said during a press conference the day following the shooting.

Responding officers discovered that a 22-year-old male had been shot in the abdomen, Superintendent McDonough explained.

Witnesses provided investigators with a description of the suspect’s vehicle, which was then broadcast to other responding officers.

Officer Rosfeld spotted the silver Chevrolet Cruze, with gunshot damage to it, traveling on Grandview Avenue and initiated a traffic stop at 8:40 p.m.

“I’m very confident that that was the vehicle involved in the [earlier] shooting,” Superintendent McDonough confirmed.

Officer Rosfeld ordered the 20-year-old driver to exit the vehicle and lie down on the ground.

“Two other occupants of the vehicle then bolted from the vehicle on foot," the superintendent said. "The East Pittsburgh officer fired his weapon, striking one of the fleeing suspects several times.”

Rose was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:19 p.m.

Zaijuan Hester, 17, also fled from the traffic stop and remained at large until Tuesday, CBS News reported.

He is expected to face charges in relation to the drive-by shooting of the male in North Braddock.

Officer Rosfeld has worked as a law enforcement officer since 2011, having served in Harmar Township and Oakmont before he joined the University of Pittsburgh Police Department in October of 2012.

The university confirmed that the officer was “dismissed for cause” in January, but would not disclose details about the termination of his employment, KDKA reported.

Officer Rosfeld’s university personnel file has been turned over to authorities investigating Rose’s death.

He was hired by the East Pittsburgh Police Department three weeks prior to the fatal encounter, and was formally sworn in as a police officer just 90 minutes before the shooting occurred, CBS News reported.

Officer Rosfeld has been on paid administrative leave since the officer-involved shooting.

Comments (23)
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186
186

The law authorizes law enforcement officers to use deadly physical force only when they reasonably believe it is necessary to:

  1. defend themselves or a third person from the use or imminent use of deadly physical force or

  2. make an arrest or prevent the escape from custody of a person whom they reasonably believe has committed or attempted to commit a felony involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical injury and, where feasible, they have given warning of their intent to use deadly physical force

Shots fired, Bullet holes in car, suspect trying out his new felony fliers I think number 2 would apply here

ragnarok1943
ragnarok1943

Pennsylvania has a fleeing felon law but with all the police shootings and protests it is probably not a good idea to shoot a fleeing felon. Just let them go. .... According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Pennsylvania law allows police officers to use deadly force to prevent someone from escaping arrest if that person has committed a forcible felony, possesses a deadly weapon or if the person has indicated he or she will endanger human life or inflict bodily injury if not arrested.”

LEO0301
LEO0301

It will be interesting how this all plays out in court. The moment I read the circumstances surrounding this shooting I had a strong feeling the officer would be arrested. After all the department needed to appease the public and the only way to do that was to arrest him. Personally, I think the Supreme Court ruling will be used to exonerate the officer. The key wording is "reasonably believe has committed or attempted to commit a felony involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical injury"

ragnarok1943
ragnarok1943

Pennsylvania "Fleeing Felon" Law: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/LI/consCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&ttl=18&div=0&chpt=5&sctn=8&subsctn=0 § 508. Use of force in law enforcement. c) Use of force regarding escape.--

(1) A peace officer, corrections officer or other person who has an arrested or convicted person in his custody is justified in the use of such force to prevent the escape of the person from custody as the officer or other person would be justified in using under subsection (a) if the officer or other person were arresting the person.

(2) A peace officer or corrections officer is justified in the use of such force, including deadly force, which the officer believes to be necessary to prevent the escape from a correctional institution of a person whom the officer believes to be lawfully detained in such institution under sentence for an offense or awaiting trial or commitment for an offense.

(3) A corrections officer is justified in the use of such force, which the officer believes to be necessary to defend himself or another from bodily harm during the pursuit of the escaped person. However, the officer is justified in using deadly force only when the officer believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to himself or another or when the officer believes that:

(i) such force is necessary to prevent the apprehension from being defeated by resistance; and

(ii) the escaped person has been convicted of committing or attempting to commit a forcible felony, possesses a deadly weapon or otherwise indicates that he will endanger human life or inflict serious bodily injury unless apprehended without delay.

Danimyl
Danimyl

Just an idea Don't ride around shooting people. But if that urge is just too great don't run from the police if they catch up to you. They already knew someone in that vehicle was armed and that already hes them in a heightened state.

GMMiller
GMMiller

Good luck officer, justice will prevail.

DannyWmo
DannyWmo

Oh and they did find the kid had an empty pistol magazine in his pocket when he was searched. But he was a good boy and would not be involved in any wrong doing. BS! And you gotta love the family attorney who says that the finding of 2 guns in the car and the magazine in the kids pocket is not relevant to the case! Where do these guys go to law school?

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@DannyWmo unfortunately, none of that has to do with someone being shot in the back while running away. the evidence you mentioned was found after the shooting, so there's no way they knew about that prior to the shooting.

Pat1978
Pat1978

My argument against fleeing felon (absent additional facts) would be that time had passed and anyone could be in the car. If four people are in the car and they all run, do you shoot them all?

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Maybe he will plead to get the death penalty off the table.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@ragnarok1943 I see you missed an important word in rule 3),before sections i) and ii). It should read that the officer believes that BOTH articles are met for deadly force, not either one or the other like it reads how you posted it.

Given that, article ii) reads the officer believes that the arrestee has a deadly weapon and will commit bodily harm in him or another person. Rosfeld has already said in his second statement that he didn't see a weapon.

You need both articles to qualify deadly force, and he sunk his defense by admitting he didn't see a weapon.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@186 that's not the correct state law. You're looking at Connecticut.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@Heezels How can probable cause to shoot Rose be established by his involvement in the drive-by? Unless Rosfeld watched the drive-by happen and saw Rose shoot, i can't see a justification for him being shot when the officer has stated he didn't see Rose with a gun.

186
186

@HCD Pennsylvania law permits officers to use lethal force on a fleeing suspect. It's allowed to prevent death or serious injury to an officer or another person or if the fleeing suspect has used or threatened violence or possesses a lethal weapon.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@186 But it's 'and' not 'or'. That's very important. The officer has to preventing death/injury AND the suspect has to have threatened violence/possess a lethal weapon. Rosfeld has already said Rose didn't have a weapon.

186
186

@HCD

Once again Shots fired, responding find wounded victim, Officer stops silver chevy, with bullet holes, two suspects flee now we go to the OR you omitted " another person or if the fleeing suspect has used or threatened violence " Next step before running for reelection. Get the bullet from the victim and see if it matches the any of the two guns found in the car. Now since I wasn't there I can not say if I would or wouldn't have shot, police have less than .04 seconds to make that call. I am not jump to conclusions till all the facts are in.

186
186

Jumping