A man was wounded yesterday after he exchanged gunfire with plainclothes police officers in Lincoln-Lemington, but it was unclear if he was wounded by police or himself.Rebecca Droke, Post-Gazette
Police stand outside a house at 1028 Lincoln Ave. in Lincoln-Lemington, where a suspect was found after being shot yesterday. It was unclear whether the suspect was shot by police or shot himself.
Click photo for larger image.
The man, whose identity was not released by police, fired at two officers from the Allegheny County district attorney's violent crime and weapons task force as he was being chased. The officers were not wounded in the exchange.
The officers had noticed the wounded man and another man involved in a suspected drug transaction shortly before 6 p.m., said Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard.
The two men began running when the officers approached. One of them fired at the officers. The officers focused their attention on the armed man and pursued him along Deary Street and Lincoln Avenue.
After the man fired at police, the two officers fired back, police said.
Witnesses said they saw the two officers chasing the man on the Deary Street sidewalk and then heard three distinct gunshots.
"They sounded like cannons," said 70-year-old Edward Woodson, who was cutting his grass at the time. "As soon as I heard those bangs, I put the lawn on hold."
The suspect ran into an abandoned house at 1028 Lincoln Ave.
The city police's Special Emergency Response Team, which happened to be in the area searching abandoned homes and vacant lots for drugs and weapons, backed up the officers.
Police set up a perimeter around the house, fearing a standoff. Neighbors said the SERT team fired a canister of tear gas into the home and then officers rushed in.
The man was discovered inside with a gunshot wound to the head.
Police Cmdr. RaShall Brackney, who heads the East Liberty station, said the man was found conscious and breathing. She said she was unaware of any shots fired inside the house. It was unclear how many rounds were exchanged between the officers and the suspect.
Cmdr. Brackney said the man inside the home was positively identified as the suspect. He was taken to UPMC Presbyterian in critical condition.
Moustafa Ayad can be reached at email@example.com or 412-263-1731.