Driver in shooting of officer is located
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State police said they have found the man who drove a car that a robbery suspect jumped out of before he shot a part-time Monaca police officer on Wednesday.
Lt. Eric Hermick of the state police barracks in Butler declined to release the name of the 63-year-old driver or his relationship to Damontae Williams, 19, of Aliquippa, who is accused of robbing a Cricket store in Center and then wounding Monaca officer Alan Shaffer in a shoot-out near a CoGo's gas station.
"Right now, he's a witness, but he still has the potential to face charges," Lt. Hermick said of the driver.
Center police received a call about 5:15 p.m. for a report that a man in a white T-shirt and a baseball cap entered the Cricket store in the Walmart Shopping Plaza off Route 18 under the guise that he wanted to buy a telephone case. After the man bought the case, he showed a gun and demanded that the clerk give him money from cash register, a trooper wrote in a criminal complaint.
The cashier told police the suspect fled in a silver Dodge Neon and county emergency dispatchers aired that description over the radio for officers in neighboring departments.
Officer Shaffer reported that he saw a silver Dodge Neon weaving in and out of traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue, and attempted to pull over the car.
When the driver slowed down about three blocks away, near the CoGo's, the robbery suspect jumped out and ran, dropping a green bag with cash, a cell phone case and a receipt from the Cricket store, according to the complaint.
Officer Shaffer chased the man into an alley behind the gas station. The suspect raised a stolen .40-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun and fired at Officer Shaffer several times, police said.
When Officer Shaffer returned fire, the suspect dropped his weapon. Additional officers arrested him while Officer Shaffer held him at gunpoint, according to the complaint.
Troopers wrote in the complaint that Mr. Williams confessed to robbing the Cricket store and to shooting at Officer Shaffer, who was discharged from the hospital Wednesday night. Mr. Williams has been charged with attempted homicide, robbery, assault, firearms violations and other crimes. He remained in the Beaver County Jail on $750,000 bail Thursday night.
First Published July 27, 2012 12:00 am