Officer dragged by car during traffic stop in Highland Park expected to be OK



PITTSBURGH - An officer opened fire on a driver Sunday night as he was being dragged more than 150 feet in Highland Park.

Investigators said two officers pulled a car over for a traffic stop on Farragut Avenue in Highland Park.

According to police, one officer was standing next the passenger door and the other next to the driver's door when the driver hit the gas and attempted to take off.

“The actor put the vehicle in drive and took off dragging the officer who was positioned on the passenger side,” Deputy Police Chief Paul Donaldson said.

Investigators said the officer on the passenger's side reached through the window and tried to put the car in park when he was dragged more than 150 feet and then opened fire.

"Our officers are permitted to fire in self-defense, in defense of themselves or defense of others.  And the officer believed at the time that his life was in danger and so he took this action," said Paul Donaldson of the Pittsburgh police Department.

Police said the 20-year-old driver from East Liberty was shot several times and eventually crashed outside of a home on Stanton Avenue.

Amy Newland said she was inside watching television when she heard gunfire and the car crash outside her door.

"I heard 'pop,pop,pop' and so you hear that and you are thinking, 'this isn't party of the show' and you are like, 'wait a minute' and the building shook about five or ten seconds later," Newland said.

James Jordan also saw the incident unfold.

“I was sitting there on the porch and I saw all these lights and I thought, ‘Oh, time for me to go,’” Jordan said.

The officer was treated for injuries to his hand and arm.

The driver was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital listed in serious condition.