MCKEESPORT, Pa. — Charges have been filed for the man accused of shooting one police officer and injuring another in a shooting in McKeesport on Monday.
The fallen McKeesport officer has been identified as Sean Sluganski. The injured officer has been identified as Charles Thomas.
Court documents identify the suspect as Johnathan Morris.
Channel 11 learned that the officers were responding to a domestic situation involving a man going through mental health crisis when he opened fire at the officers.
According to officials, the suspect walked away from police when they tried talking with him. Police were told that the suspect was possibly carrying a gun.
The suspect walked to the 1300 block of Grandview Avenue and was met by the officers when he turned and began firing. The officers returned fire when they were both hit. The suspect was hit in the leg and fled.
Moments before the shooting, Officer Sluganski said Morris was running. Sluganski called into his radio saying, “Watch his right hand in pocket — appears real heavy,” according to the complaint.
Morris allegedly told two witnesses who were driving up Grandview Avenue that police were trying to kill him and asked them to film him. They did, and police were able to view that footage, according to the complaint.
The witnesses told police Officer Thomas was driving a police car and pulled into an alley off 1300 Grandview Avenue. Officer Sluganski arrived on foot. Morris was standing in a yard there when he pulled out a gun and started shooting at Thomas and then Sluganski, according to court documents.
Police paperwork said that after Morris exchanged gunfire with the officers, he went to a nearby Uni-Mart parking lot and told two people he had been shot and needed help. One of the people started to a apply a tourniquet to Morris’ leg when a third McKeesport officer arrived. Morris started to fire at the officer, but the officer was not hit, according to the complaint.
Morris was then taken into custody.
Both officers shot were McKeesport police officers. One officer died at the hospital and the other was critically wounded and later life flighted to a Pittsburgh trauma center.
The suspect was hospitalized and is in stable condition.
What we know about fallen officer Sean Sluganski
Sluganski joined the McKeesport Police Department in Jan. 2020 and was promoted to full time in Jan. 2021.
Prior to his time in McKeesport, he worked at the Charleroi Regional Police department. McKeesport Police Chief Adam Alfer said this is a tragic loss for their department.
“This is a tragic loss for our department and our community,” Alfer said in a statement. “We have lost a friend, a trusted colleague and an officer whose passion was providing service to the public. At this time, we ask that you keep all of our officers and their families in your hearts, particularly the families of Officer Sluganski and Officer Thomas.”
What we know about injured officer Charles ‘Chuck’ Thomas
Thomas has been with the McKeesport Police Department for four years. He was discharged from the hospital Monday night.
According to Chief Alfer, Thomas is now at home and recovering with family.
What we know about the suspect
Court documents identified the suspect as Johnathan Morris, 31.
According to court documents, Morris’ mother called 911 to report he was having a PTSD episode and being aggressive towards her. Court documents said Morris is a military veteran.
Morris is charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault, assaulting a law enforcement officer and criminal attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.
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