DA addresses report that suspect may have fired gun hours before he was accused of killing officer

McKEESPORT, Pa. — District attorney Stephen Zappala said Thursday that the suspect accused of killing a McKeesport Police Officer and wounding another legally owned the handgun.

But Zappala raised questions about claims that the suspect may have suffered from PTSD and was mentally unstable.

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Morris is accused of killing Officer Sean Sluganski and injuring Officer Charles Thomas Monday.

According to police, Morris’ mother, who’s a former McKeesport Police officer, called Police Monday and said he son was unstable and she wanted him committed.

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“He owned the gun lawfully and to own a weapon lawfully in Pennsylvania you got to be sound of mind, so there’s been some speculation about mental health issues. I have not seen it,” said Zappala.

But the District Attorney said it’s still early in the investigation and he still needs to do a deep dive into the suspect’s background.

Target 11 also confirmed that Morris served in the Marine Corps. He spent time at bases in North Carolina, Maryland and San Diego.

He also spent several months in Afghanistan.

“We are going through his military background right now. I don’t think he saw any combat, so PTSD is something that usually develops when you are in firefights and I don’t know that that ever happened,” said Zappala.

Zappala also said he was unaware but looking into reports that McKeesport police were sent to check on Morris on January 13th after he became upset with a Florida credit union and allegedly threatened to go on a killing spree.

And that after a dispute with a clerk, he may have been the person who fired shots into a corner store in McKeesport on Sunday night the day before he allegedly shot and killed one officer and wounded another.

Earle: Would that be a concern if he was involved in a shooting and nothing was done?

Zappala: Absolutely. Yea, that kind of strikes me as being odd.

McKeesport police have declined to comment about the timeline.

The district attorney said that will be part of the Allegheny County Police investigation.

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