5 city police to join Steelers for meeting with Obama

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President Barack Obama today will meet with Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper and four police officers who were among the first to arrive in Stanton Heights on the morning of April 4, when a gunman killed three of their colleagues.

Chief Harper and the four police officers -- Edward Dent, Steven Hitchings, Stephen Mescan and Robert Provident -- will be at the White House during a scheduled meeting between the president and the Steelers' Super Bowl championship team.

Chief Harper said he was "honored" and "very humbled" to meet the president, according to police spokeswoman Diane Richard.

Vice President Joe Biden personally called Chief Harper to organize the meeting.

All four officers going to Washington, D.C., with the chief had been at the scene on Fairfield Street, where officers Paul J. Sciullo II, Stephen J. Mayhle and Eric G. Kelly were shot and killed.

The group of four arrived shortly after 7 a.m. that Saturday and helped organize a rescue for Officer Kelly, who was badly wounded but still alive, and Officer Timothy McManaway, who was wounded in the hand. They were both lying in the street.

The responding officers rigged the windows of a police transport wagon with bulletproof vests and then pulled the wounded men into the back of the vehicle.

Richard Poplawski, 22, who was living with his mother on Fairfield Street, has been charged with the killings.

Officer Mescan is a team leader with the city's SWAT team. Detective Dent is assigned to the night felony squad. Detectives Hitchings and Provident are both investigators with the homicide squad.

Jerome L. Sherman can be reached at jsherman@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1183.


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