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Pittsburgh Officer Shot, Suspect Dead In Exchange Of Gunfire On North Side

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA

Authorities on Friday released the name of the man who was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire that left a Pittsburgh police detective wounded.

Elijah Brewer, 25, died at a hospital Thursday night following the shooting, which took place during a traffic stop on East Ohio Street, the Allegheny County medical examiner said.

In an early-afternoon Friday press conference, Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough said Brewer was a passenger in a 2002 Lexus that was pulled over on East Ohio Street shortly before 7 p.m. City of Pittsburgh police detectives detected “the odor of burnt marijuana” in the car and had the driver exit the vehicle. Brewer also got out, McDonough said. “We know that a scuffle ensued and gunshots were fired.” 


County police say that when they arrived on the scene, they found a 9mm handgun in Brewer’s right hand. Investigators determined he fired at least two shots at the four officers, all of whom returned fire: McDonough said it wasn’t yet clear how many bullets, or whose, struck Brewer.


McDonough said he didn’t yet know why police pulled over the car. While a robbery had been reported minutes before the traffic stop, he said county police had no information tying the driver or Brewer to the incident. The driver, who fled the scene, was detained but not charged.


The Lexus had “obvious equipment violations that would have constituted probable cause for a traffic stop,” McDonough said. “But as I stand here today, I can’t definitively tell you the reason behind the stop.”


Brewer was on probation for aggravated assault and other violations that barred him from legally owning a gun, he said.


McDonough said the undercover officers were not equipped with cameras that could provide video footage of the shooting. They were in an unmarked police vehicle that also did not have a camera onboard. He said police were searching for footage from surveillance cameras that might be posted in the area.


“If you’re aware of any, please help us out. “


But McDonough said at least one thing was certain. “The point to remember here is we had a subject who fired at police officers, and a driver who complied with police officers' orders. One of them went home last night and slept in his own bed."


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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