DA: Officer acted properly in fatal shooting

WILKINSBURG, Pa. — The District Attorney’s Office ruled Wednesday that a Pittsburgh police officer was justified in shooting an armed suspect six times earlier this year in Wilkinsburg.


At a Wednesday news conference, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. said that Officer William Kertis was justified in fatally shooting 29-year-old Adrian Williams on April 21. Williams died at the scene after a chase.

Authorities said the April 21 incident started around 3:30 a.m. at the intersection of Hamilton and Fifth avenues downtown when officers tried to pull over a vehicle on a traffic violation.

Williams fled and led officers on a chase into Wilkinsburg.

Pittsburgh police public information officer Sonya Toler said Williams eventually jumped out of his car after crashing and ran with a gun in his hand.

Several officers pursued Williams down Penn Avenue and ordered him to stop.

“After he exited the vehicle, he had a gun in his hand and police pursued him. They repeatedly informed him he needed to drop the gun, which he did not. He spun around with the gun in hand and was shot,” Toler said.

Video of the shooting shows that Williams pointed a gun at Kertis.

Kertis remains on administrative duty, which is standard procedure for officer-involved shootings.

Kertis was also involved in a March 2013 shooting when bullets fired by another suspect struck him in both legs and broke his wrists.

According to court records, Williams had a criminal history.

In 2004, Williams received a sentence of six months of probation for resisting arrest, receiving stolen property and carrying a firearm without a license, records show.

He pleaded guilty to drug charges in 2007 and again in 2012, when he received five years of probation for a string of charges that included fleeing or attempting to elude police and four counts of reckless endangerment.

In January, Pittsburgh police charged Williams with possession of a controlled substance. He was set to be arraigned on the charge April 30.