With relatives and Pittsburgh police officers looking on, a Homewood man waived his preliminary hearing Thursday on charges that he shot one Pittsburgh police officer and injured another this spring.
James Hill, 25, faces charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault and other crimes in connection with the shooting of Zone 5 Officer Morgan Jenkins and the tussle that left fellow Officer Michelle Auge with two broken fingers and a fractured orbital bone. Prosecutors on Wednesday added one additional count of aggravated assault to his list of charges to account for injuries to Officer Auge.
Hill waived his preliminary hearing partially because, "I don't think anything would have been gained by making the officers in this case testify about something that turned out to be very painful for them," defense attorney Milton Raiford said.
Several officers, including police union President Michael LaPorte and Vice President Michael Benner, gathered Downtown at the Municipal Courts Building to show their support for Officer Jenkins, injured when a bullet passed through his left bicep and underneath his protective vest, hitting his chest and lung before stopping close to his spine.
"When one of our own falls victim, we want to support them as much as we can," Sgt. LaPorte said.
Pittsburgh police wrote in a criminal complaint that officers Jenkins and Auge were patrolling in Homewood about 1:30 a.m. on April 11 when they spotted a car speed through an intersection and they followed it until it crashed.
Police said a struggle ensued and Hill fought with Officer Auge, injuring her. The shooting happened after Hill ran away and Officer Jenkins chased him, police said. Police shot Hill as many as five times.
Hill is scheduled to appear in court for formal arraignment on Aug. 27. He is being held in the Allegheny County Jail without bail.
Liz Navratil: email@example.com, 412-263-1438 and on Twitter: @LizNavratil. First Published July 11, 2013 7:15 PM