Police kill suspect after chaotic South Side chase

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Police shot and killed a 33-year-old man early this morning after a chaotic chase on Pittsburgh's South Side that included an attempt to run over the officers, two crashes and numerous damaged vehicles.

The medical examiner's office said Nicholas Haniotakis, whose address was given only as Pittsburgh, died of multiple gunshot wounds to his chest and extremities shortly after 2 a.m.

According to a city police news release, he was shot after a lengthy, high-speed chase through the South Side that began when a city of Pittsburgh police officer and a state trooper working together on a DUI roving patrol saw the SUV Mr. Haniotakis was driving traveling south on 13th Street in the wrong lane with its lights out. When Mr. Haniotakis' vehicle reached East Carson Street, it stopped and then lurched forward, nearly broad-siding the unmarked police vehicle.

When the officers, who were both in full uniform, activated their siren and emergency lights, Mr. Haniotakis put his vehicle in reverse and backed down 13th Street at high speed and the police gave chase, pursuing him through numerous South Side streets until he crashed into a parked vehicle at the intersection of Wharton and 22nd Street.

The uniformed officers approached the vehicle and ordered the driver to show his hands. But the driver instead put his vehicle in reverse and struck the unmarked police vehicle, nearly hitting one of the officers, then drove forward toward the other officer. Officers fired several shots into the vehicle but the driver pulled away again as officers fired additional shots.

The SUV, which had Ohio plates, crashed again into a pole at Sarah and 22nd Street. Mr. Haniotakis was pronounced dead at 2:07 a.m. at UMPC Mercy.

Diane Richard, a city police spokeswoman, said the city police officer involved has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, normal procedure following an incident when a police officer fires a gun.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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