Driver shot during South Side police chase talks to Channel 11 News



PITTSBURGH - A man shot during a police chase in Pittsburgh's South Side earlier this year said he was trying to find a well-lighted area to pull over and did not deserve to be shot at.

Donald Burris spoke to Channel 11's Gordon Loesch Wednesday. Burris said he did nothing that would justify having five police officers open fire on him and his mother in January.

"I got shot right here. Right in the chest," Burris said. "They can't justify what they did to me."

Burris and his 49-year-old mother were driving in his car on Jan. 13 when, police said, he led them on a chase after running a red light in Homestead.

It was a pursuit, Burris said, that never exceeded the speed limit.

"As a citizen I have every right to pull over in a well-lit area and there was no well-lit area for me to pull over," said Burris.

Homestead police said they broke off the pursuit as Burris approached South Side  -- a busy area filled with bars and nightclubs.

Off-duty Pittsburgh officers working security detail said Burris then drove around stop sticks, crashed into parked cars and was a threat to people on the sidewalk.

"Why would I do that? I have no guns, no drugs. I'm not intoxicated. I have no drugs in my system. Why would I do that?" Burris said.

Five off-duty officers shot into Burris' car, hitting him three times, and hitting his mother Lena Davenport once in the face.

A judge placed Burris on house arrest and he's expected to appear in court for a hearing on April 30.

"I think they need to own up their responsibility and I think they need to realize what they did to me was wrong," Burris said.

Burris and his mother have filed lawsuits against the Homestead and Pittsburgh police.

A spokesman for Pittsburgh police and the district attorney's office said they cannot comment on the case because it is still under investigation.