Police in Hempfield kill man who slashed woman's throat with knife

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A state trooper shot and killed a knife-wielding suspect who had just slashed a woman's throat at an apartment complex for the elderly and disabled Sunday in Hempfield, police said.

Rodney Golden, 41, of Greensburg was shot to death after he killed 56-year-old Anita M. Sabol, who lived on the third floor of the Hempfield Towers apartment complex, operated by the Westmoreland County Housing Authority.

About 12:25 p.m., police from several area departments were called to the 200-unit apartment building at 2500 S. Grande Blvd. after a caller told state police at the Greensburg Barracks that he heard an argument in the hallway between a man and a woman and saw the man cut the woman's throat.

Police found Mr. Golden minutes later outside the complex, where he ignored commands and was unable to be subdued with Tasers, police said. He was shot after he lunged at a trooper with the knife.

State police did not identify the trooper. A spokesman said Mr. Golden and Ms. Sabol were in a relationship, though he couldn't say whether Mr. Golden lived in the apartment.

The agency said no other information would be released until "a time to be determined" today.

A man who answered a phone listed to Mr. Golden would not speak with a reporter.

Joseph Simon, 24, was stopping at the complex Sunday night to visit his 63-year-old father, James Simon, who lives on the third floor.

"He's going to be moving out of here," Joseph Simon said. "It's very scary."

James Simon, who uses a motorized wheelchair as result of losing a foot to diabetes, said he was getting ready to go to church when he heard police cars pulling up to the building at about 12:30 p.m. and went down the hallway to see what was happening.

He saw Ms. Sabol wounded in front of the elevators on the third floor, where another woman was trying to stanch profuse bleeding.

"It was bad. ... People were standing around gawking like it was some kind of show," Mr. Simon said.

Michael L. Washowich, executive director of the Westmoreland County Housing Authority, said he had not yet spoken with investigators about the killing and did not have additional details.

"It's a tragic situation," Mr. Washowich said. "My heart goes out not only to the victim but to our tenants, who are our priority."

He stressed that the building is secure, adding that access is restricted to those with key cards and that tenants have monitors in their rooms that allow them to see who is paging them before they admit visitors to the lobby.

"We'll be back in the building [today] to make sure our tenants know that place is a quality place," he said.

In late November 2012, state police investigated another stabbing at Hempfield Towers. KDKA reported that Vanessa Robinson was charged with aggravated assault after stabbing her boyfriend, James Gallone, after an argument over beer, though Mr. Gallone was not seriously injured.

Robert Zullo: rzullo@post-gazette.com or 412-263-3909. The Associated Press contributed. First Published January 19, 2014 2:44 PM


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