Update: The family of late 17-year-old Antwon Rose, Jr., who was fatally shot by East Pittsburgh police officer Michael H. Rosfeld, is filing a wrongful death lawsuit. CBS Pittsburgh reports Rose's parents have filed a suit against Rosfeld, East Pittsburgh's police chief as well as the city's mayor.
In the suit, lawyers of Rose's parents allege that Rosfeld's belligerent nature frightened Rose and fellow passengers. The lawsuit also claims that after shooting the teen three times as he was running away, the officer never bothered to provide him with medical aid.
Original story: The East Pittsburgh police officer who shot and killed 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr. has been identified as 30-year-old Michael H. Rosfeld, The New York Times reported.
Authorities have confirmed that Rosfeld fatally shot Rose hours after he was sworn into the East Pittsburgh force. According to CNN, Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough confirmed that Rosfeld fired three times, striking Rose in various parts of his body. When CNN asked McDonough if Rosfeld is white, the police superintendent reportedly responded, "I don't understand what that has to do with the situation."
EAST PGH MAYOR said in his 20+ years as mayor, an East Pgh officer has never fired their weapon until now. 17-year-old Antwon Rose was shot & killed by officer Michael Rosfeld. Inv say at the time,Rose was running from a vehicle suspected of being involved in a shooting #WTAE— Marcie Cipriani (@MCipriani_WTAE) June 21, 2018
Rose was a passenger in a car that had been pulled over because it reportedly matched the description of a vehicle connected to an earlier shooting where a 22-year-old man was wounded, according to a statement published by the Allegheny County Police Department.
A video that recorded the shooting was posted to Facebook on Tuesday, June 19. In the video, a person – later identified as Rose – can be seen fleeing a vehicle as an officer fired at him more than once as he was running away. McDonough has confirmed that Rose was unarmed.
"I see mothers bury their sons. I want my mom to never feel that pain."— CNN (@CNN) June 22, 2018
Two years ago, Antwon Rose wrote those lines in a poem for his 10th grade honors English class.
On Tuesday, he was fatally shot by police.
In a few days, his mother will bury him. https://t.co/OLCZMKz5w3 pic.twitter.com/RvknudSU2g
The Police Department has also said two firearms were found on the floor of the vehicle. Mike Manko, a spokesman for the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, reportedly confirmed reports that while Rose was unarmed, he had an empty clip of a handgun in his pants pocket when he was shot, The Times reported.
Rose's death has sparked many protests with people denouncing the officer's deadly use of police force. Nearly 1,000 people joined protests at the Allegheny County courthouse on Thursday evening, with some blocking traffic on the Interstate, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Rose's death was ruled a homicide by the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office, CNN reports.
A reporter from WTAE-TV's Action News 4 who has been in touch with Rosfeld reports the officer said he and his family are trying to deal with what happened and that he has received a lot of support from local law enforcement.
Rosfeld confirmed to Action News 4 that though he had just sworn into the office the day of the fatal shooting, he had been with the East Pittsburgh police department for three weeks. He also noted he has been a police officer since 2011, working with various departments before joining East Pittsburgh.
Action News 4 reporter Marcie Cipriani said East Pittsburgh Mayor Louis Payne told her he couldn't recall a police officer in East Pittsburgh firing their weapon in more than 20 years.
"I've been a mayor for 20 years and long before that I don't think a police officer's discharged their pistol or weapon in all that time and unfortunately it had to be now," Payne said according to Cipriani. "We can't change what happened, nothing can change what happened. All we can do is remember Antwon, pray on it and dwell on it and make something good come out of his life."