‘He made the ultimate sacrifice’: Brackenridge Police Chief Justin McIntire killed in shooting

BRACKENRIDGE, Pa. — Justin McIntire was sworn in as Brackenridge’s police chief on Jan. 2, 2019.

Exactly four years later, McIntire was shot and killed in the line of duty.

According to our news partners at the Trib, Councilman Dino Lopreiato said McIntire stepped up and helped out when the previous chief retired after 20 years.

“He’s been great,” Lopreiato told the Trib in 2018. “We feel really good about our choice. He’s done an exemplary job the years he’s been in Brackenridge.”

Family friend Antonio Lopreiato told Channel 11 McIntire was a really good police chief.

“He was just a good guy,” Lopreiato said.

According to Allegheny County 911, first responders were called to the 800 block of Sixth Avenue shortly after 4 p.m. Monday.

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Allegheny County Police Superintendent Chris Kearns said that’s when McIntire was shot. Based on the scene, investigators believe he was ambushed, Kearns said.

A Tarentum officer was shot in the leg at a separate scene. He’s listed in stable condition and was later released from the hospital to recover at home.

Governor-elect Josh Shapiro released a statement mourning McIntire, saying:

“Today’s tragedy in Brackenridge is a devastating reminder of the bravery of those who put their lives on the line every day to protect us. Police Chief Justin McIntire ran towards danger to keep Pennsylvanians safe — and he made the ultimate sacrifice in service to community.

Chief McIntire and his family are in my prayers, as is his fellow officer who was injured in the line of duty tonight. May Chief McIntire’s memory be a blessing.”

Aaron Lamont Swan Jr. was named the suspect in the shootings. He was shot and killed by police following a pursuit and shootout in the City of Pittsburgh.

McIntire grew up in Brackenridge and was a Highlands High School graduate. There was a large police presence in the community following his death, and a procession of officers, who escorted the fallen officer to the medical examiner’s office.

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey released the following statement:

“Pittsburgh, please join me in praying for the family of Chief Justin McIntire and the entire community of Brackenridge. Chief McIntire lost his life last night while protecting his community from violence. Each day we pray that our officers are able to come home to their families every night, and last night serves as a reminder to the danger they face each and every day at work. Our thoughts also go out to the officers from Brackenridge and our Pittsburgh Bureau of Police who were injured last night.

“We would also like to lift up our neighbors in Homewood where a tragic event happened last night and ask that you keep them in your hearts and in your prayers as well.

“On behalf of the city, our Public Safety officials, and my entire administration we condemn the calls for violence against our officers. This cannot create peace, nor can it help us build the trust that is needed if we are going to have positive community-police relations.”

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