Home / Top Story / Pa. police chief to cop slayer during manhunt: 'We will find you'

Pa. police chief to cop slayer during manhunt: 'We will find you'

A Pennsylvania police chief offered swift justice for the gunman responsible for slaying his rookie officer during a Friday night traffic stop.

“We will find you, we will arrest you and we will prosecute you, so you are held accountable,” New Kensington Police Chief Jim Klein said somberly during a rainy press conference Saturday.

Westmoreland County detectives — along with state and federal authorities — are leading the dogged search for the elusive shooter that killed Officer Brian Shaw a few blocks from the Allegheny River.

Pennsylvania State Police officials identified the gunman early Sunday as 29-year-old Rahmael Holt.

Holt is accused of mortally wounding the 25-year-old officer with a gunshot wound to his chest, despite having worn a bulletproof vest, according to police.

MANDATORY CREDIT; PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW OUT; DK PITTSBURGH SPORTS OUT

Members of local police departments salute the casket of New Kensington Police Officer Brian Shaw as it is moved into the Rusiewicz Funeral Home.

(Pam Panchak/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

Neighbors Nicole Drum and Brad Larocca heard the fatal gunfire — at least six quick shots — across the street from their homes and rushed outside to help the downed officer.

Nicole Drum tried talking to Shaw but he was unable to answer her.

“He was gasping for air,” Larocca told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

A .40 caliber slug reportedly pierced Drum’s home during the attack but it’s unclear who fired the shot. Investigators did not say if Shaw managed to return fire.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Rahmael Holt, 29, in the death of Officer Brian Shaw. 

An arrest warrant has been issued for Rahmael Holt, 29, in the death of Officer Brian Shaw. 

(Troop A Public Information Officers)

Drum’s father, Wayne Drum, said investigators took hard drives for a security camera mounted to their home as evidence. The camera reportedly captured the shooting.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee believed involved in the traffic stop was found abandoned two hours after the attack, and the Tribune-Review reports it was registered to a Penn Hills resident. 

Pennsylvania state police said investigators are aware of what prompted the traffic stop around 8 p.m. but declined to elaborate further.

Friends of the 2010 Burrell High School graduate said Shaw saw law enforcement as his “calling.”

MANDATORY CREDIT; PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW OUT; DK PITTSBURGH SPORTS OUT

A SWAT team walks along a street in the New Kensington neighborhood where a police officer was fatally shot after a traffic stop Friday night.

(Rebecca Droke/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

“Ever since he was 17 or 18, that was all he talked about,” Allie Wilhelm told the Tribune-Review.

Shaw graduated from the Allegheny County Police Training Academy in 2014 and the Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania the following year, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He joined the New Kensington police force in June, according to police.

Despite his brief career, Klein said Shaw was a “young, bright, energetic, caring officer that was loved by his family and members of this police department.”

MANDATORY CREDIT; PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW OUT; DK PITTSBURGH SPORTS OUT

New Kensington Police Chief James Klein and the mother of slain Officer Brian Shaw, Lisa Shaw, share a moment while waiting at the Rusiewicz Funeral Home.

(Pam Panchak/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

“He gave his life protecting this community,” he added Saturday afternoon.

The Allegheny County Police Department shared a touching photo of a little boy letting Shaw have a look at his toy handcuffs about a month before he was killed.

And then Shaw let him see a real pair of cuffs, according to WTAE-TV.

Multiple law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Marshall Service and the FBI, are offering a $ 40,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest, Klein said.

Klein comforted Shaw’s mother, Lisa Shaw, next to a police cruiser Saturday as her son’s body was escorted to the Rusiewicz Funeral Home in Lower Burrell.

With News Wire Services

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