Pittsburgh active shooter: What we know about the suspect, William Hardison Sr.

PITTSBURGH — The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Pittsburgh police, the FBI and SWAT crews were involved in an active shooting situation in the city’s Garfield neighborhood on Wednesday.

11 News has learned the suspect is William Hardison Sr., 63.

Hardison was killed during the shooting situation, the sheriff has confirmed.

According to sources, Hardison believed he was a sovereign citizen, meaning he thought he was exempt from the law.

A Channel 11 News photographer discovered a video of Hardison during a prior interaction with police in 2019. In the video, you can see a Moorish flag, which is flown by Moorish sovereign citizens.

In 2019, Hardison was charged with carrying a firearm without a license, and he pleaded guilty. 11 News also learned Hardison was charged with harassment in 2014.

Court records show he was charged with disorderly conduct and fleeing from police in 2000, as well as a marijuana charge.

The home Hardison was living in reportedly belonged to his late brother, Joseph, who purchased the house in 1998.

Since his brother’s death, the mortgage on the home went into arrears. There was $15,000 or more owed on the house.

An LLC took the house over and purchased it for $25,000 in March 2023.

The LLC then filed an eviction notice against Hardison in May, claiming he was living there without paying rent. The Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office was serving that eviction notice when the shooting situation began.

Hardison filed federal paperwork a couple of months prior, accusing the mortgage company of trespassing and fraud.

His son, William Hardison Jr., told Channel 11 that his father used to be in the military but it was so long ago that he didn’t think he was born yet.

Hardison Jr. said he didn’t agree with what his father was doing. He said his father was a good man but that he was “spiraling.”

We’re still working to learn more about Hardison. Keep checking back for the latest updates on Channel 11 News and on WPXI.com.

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