During a news conference today on the shooting death of Brackenridge Police Chief Justin McIntire, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said that the shooter, Aaron Swan Jr., had a conversion kit and extended magazine on his handgun that made it fully automatic.
Those conversion kits also known as Glock switches on the street are illegal and they were the subject of a Target 11 Investigation last year when the ATF told us about the uptick in these devices.
It’s unclear what the District Attorney and the US Attorney plan to say about the conversion kits, but the district attorney indicated there will be an effort to aggressively prosecute these cases.
“Next week the US Attorney and I are going to talk about it a little bit, about some of the modifications, the weapons and the ramifications that’s going to bring in the federal system. We are going to prosecute those cases,” said Zappala.
The District Attorney also released police body cam video and shot spotter audio that captured the rapid automatic gunfire that the suspect unleashed on two Pittsburgh Police detectives who chased him into a housing project in Homewood after he crashed his car into a tree following a short police chase.
The DA also released a picture of the car crash.
Shortly after the officers began chasing Swan, gunfire can be heard on the video. The two detectives are caught in a fierce firefight. One detective takes cover behind a brick wall, the other is openly exposed, taking cover behind a chain link fence.
“That’s an automatic weapon they’re up against,” said Zappala.
Swan is shot and killed during the exchange of gunfire.
Zappala said today that the shooting was justified.
One of the detectives is wounded, but both are alive.
“He takes shrapnel to the eye. He takes shrapnel to the arm. He’s lucky he’s not dead,” said Zappala.
The DA said Swan had six guns, all obtained illegally.
One through a straw purchase.
And the one handgun he used against the Pittsburgh Police office had been illegally converted to a fully automatic.
“This is how they modify the weapon. This is an extended clip,” said Zappala.
Swan fired 21 shots in 18 seconds, according to the DA.
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