According to a witness, an officer questioned the actions of a teenager during a shootout



A witness of the shooting of a black teenager unarmed by a white policeman said Wednesday he saw the policeman standing on the sidewalk panicking saying, "I do not know why I shot him. not why I shot. "

The trial of former East Pittsburgh police officer, Michael Rosfeld, continued on Wednesday in a second day, in a Pittsburgh courtroom, where three witnesses were called to appear during the morning appearance.

John Leach, a neighbor who lives at a few houses in the June shooting, said that he was on the porch when Rosfeld fired three shots at Anton Rose, 17, after intercepting a taxi without a suspected license. to have been used in a car. – by shooting a few minutes earlier. Rose was a front passenger in the cabin and was shot while he was running away.

Rosfeld, 30, faces a charge of criminal homicide.

Leach, the second witness to testify on Wednesday, said that after the shooting, he stood next to Rose's body and watched Rosfeld on the nearby sidewalk repeating, "I do not know why I shot him. I do not know why I shot. "

He later said that he had seen other policemen comforting Rosfeld while he was crying, leaning over and hyperventilating. Rosfeld, he said, seemed about to faint.

Leach said he saw Rosfeld aim a gun at Rose while at least one of his hands was in the air. Then Rose turned and ran, he said.

Patrick Shattuck said Wednesday that he was in a senior citizens' center across the street for a council meeting. Five to seven minutes after the shooting, Shattuck said that Rosfeld, his eyes red and swollen, had entered the building and asked why he did that. Why did he do that?

The Mayor of East Pittsburgh, Louis J. Payne, who was also present, said that he had also heard Rosfeld say, "Why did he do that?" but said that he did not hear the comment about the pocket.

Rosfeld was in the seniors center only a few minutes when another officer came in and told him that he could not be there. Rosfeld left, taking with him a rifle that he had brought inside, Shattuck said.

The defense attorney, Patrick Thomassey, said that Rosfeld had no intention of shooting anyone that day and that he had nothing hurt during his fatal meeting with Rose.

"You think Michael Rosfeld got up on June 19 and thought he was going to shoot at someone? Of course not," he said.

Prosecutors said Rosfeld had made conflicting statements about the shooting, including stating that he thought Rose had a rifle.

The video of the shooting, recorded by neighbor Lashaun Livingston, went online, triggering protests in the Pittsburgh area last year, including a night walk that closed a major highway.

A jury consisting of six men and six women, including three African-Americans, was selected in the state of Harrisburg last week and will be held in a Pittsburgh hotel for the duration of the trial, which is expected to last one week or so. more.

An additional video was shown in court by a student from the University of Pittsburgh who was in his car near a signpost. Peyton Deri said that he could not really know if there was anything in the hands of Rose or the other occupant of the vehicle, Zaijuan Hester.

Rose's mother sent a letter Wednesday to prosecutors urging them to oppose her son's defense representation as "just another thug". In the letter, she asks prosecutors to paint a picture of her son as he really was.

"It was a rose made of concrete, despite the darkness that surrounded him, he was kind, loving and funny," she wrote in a letter dated Tuesday.

She describes how he taught other kids in the neighborhood to rollerblade and skateboard, and even gave his skates to children in need.

Rose was sitting at the front of the taxi without a license when Hester, at the back, dropped a window and shot two men in the street.

Hester, 18, of Swissvale, pleaded guilty Friday for serious assault and gun violation for the shooting, which injured a man in the abdomen. Hester told a judge that it was he who had shot, not Rose.


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