A police chief who ran after a fleeing suspect Monday was shot in the head and “made the ultimate sacrifice,” Pennsylvania officials said.
Brackenridge Police Chief Justin McIntire was killed while chasing a man wanted on a weapons-related probation violation, police said.
Pennsylvania State Police initially encountered the suspect, 28-year-old Aaron Lamont Swan, on Sunday night during a traffic stop north of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County Police Superintendent Christopher Kearns said Monday night.
Swan fled the traffic stop, Kearns said.
Around 4:15 p.m. Monday, Brackenridge police spotted Swan and started a foot pursuit, Kearns said. The suspect opened fire, killing McIntire and wounding another officer, police said.
“Police Chief Justin McIntire ran towards danger to keep Pennsylvanians safe – and he made the ultimate sacrifice in service to community,” Pennsylvania Attorney General and Governor-elect Josh Shapiro tweeted.
The second officer was struck in the leg and was taken to a hospital in stable condition, Kearns said.
After the shooting, the suspect was spotted in a carjacked Subaru in Pittsburgh, the county police superintendent said. Another police chase followed.
Swan crashed the car and fled into the woods, where he opened fire at officers, Kearns said. Swan was shot and killed by detectives from the Pittsburgh Police Department.
The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office posted a tribute to McIntire, honoring his legacy and the hard work of officers in smaller police departments.
“Chief McIntire found his calling many years ago and found his personal and professional life in his work as a police officer and police chief,” the sheriff’s office posted Monday on Facebook.
“That service and dedication led to him sacrificing himself earlier today in an effort to make sure that his Brackenridge family was not put in harm’s way. That is what police officers do.”
Small towns in Allegheny County and across Pennsylvania “have special relationships with their police departments,” the sheriff’s office said.
“In many of these boroughs and townships, the police department may only consist of a chief and a handful of officers. Such is the case in Brackenridge and that is why the senseless death of Brackenridge Chief Justin McIntire earlier today will reach into and tear at the very soul of the small piece of our county.”