Allegheny County

Volleyball fundraiser held to benefit police officer injured in February McKeesport shooting

JEFFERSON HILLS, Pa. — Channel 11 spoke to McKeesport Police Officer Chuck Thomas for the first time since he was shot and injured in the line of duty on Feb. 6, 2023. His partner, Officer Sean Sluganski, was killed.

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Monday evening, a volleyball game fundraiser was held at Thomas Jefferson High School. A team of McKeesport officers faced off against a team of officers from Jefferson Hills and Pleasant Hills. The goal was to raise money for Thomas’ recovery.

“Our guys smiled and that was the most important thing. We had a lot of fun today and they needed to have a good time,” McKeesport Police Chief Adam Alfer said.

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It was a good time in the midst of a difficult one. Alfer tells Channel 11 the department is still in pain as they continue to mourn the loss of Officer Sluganski and support Officer Thomas in his recovery.

“These guys, they feed off him now,” Alfer said when asked about Thomas. “He comes to the station, stops in. Just that smile alone changes the whole dynamic of a room when he walks in.”

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“It’s meant a lot. It’s just great to see the community come together in a difficult time; just to see some people care when you don’t think hope is still there,” Officer Chuck Thomas told Channel 11.

“Still got time, still got a lot of therapy to do. Just got to get my head back in the game,” Thomas said when asked of his recovery. “It’s very difficult. It’s unimaginable. You always know it could happen, but you always put it in the back of your mind that it won’t happen.”

There was no admission to the game, but donations went directly to Officer Thomas.

McKeesport Police won the best-of-three match in the third set.

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