Police officer who shot jail guard after bar fight turns himself in

An Aliquippa police officer who says he shot an Allegheny County Jail guard in self-defense after a bar fight turned himself in Tuesday morning to face aggravated assault charges.

Joshua Thomas Gonzalez, 24, has been a police officer with the department for the past five months.

The shooting happened early Thursday. Police said a fight involving several people occurred about 3 a.m. inside the Milestone Bar on Brownsville Road in Brentwood. When the bar closed, the group continued arguing and fighting.

Gonzales told police his girlfriend was involved in the fight, and he was walking back with a friend to get the friend’s vehicle when he was confronted by the jail guard, later identified as Kevin Miller.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by Channel 11 News, Gonzalez said Miller was yelling obscenities at him and then confronted him, pulling up his shirt and reaching into his waistband as if he had a gun. Gonzalez told police, “That made me draw my weapon. I felt like I was going to get shot and my life was in danger.”

Gonzalez stated, “I fired one round, he screamed and fell to the ground and I left.” He said he panicked and left the scene. According to the criminal complaint, Gonzalez called 911, identified himself to emergency dispatchers and returned to the scene.

A single .40-caliber shell casing was found at the scene, according to a criminal complaint. When police asked Gonzalez if he had shot the man, he said that he did. He disclosed to police that is employed with the Aliquippa Police Department and said the Glock he used was his personally owned off-duty firearm.

According to a criminal complaint, Gonzales admitted to drinking around 10 beers that night before the shooting.

Authorities found Miller suffering from a gunshot wound to his stomach at the intersection of Stewart Avenue and Windfall Way in Carrick. He was conscious when taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital in stable condition.

Miller told police there was a bar fight that started between several women, which ended up in front of a home on Stewart Avenue. Miller told police Gonzales hit one of the women, so he confronted him.

The victim said he confronted Gonzalez and "got in his face." He said Gonzalez then calmly stated, “I’m going to shoot you” before drawing his gun.

The victim told police that he did not have a weapon or gun when he was shot. According to the criminal complaint, the victim said he owns an AK-47 and hunting rifles, but does not own a handgun. He said he has been a corrections officer at the Allegheny County Jail for the past nine years.

Gonzalez was previously relieved of his duties pending an investigation by the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office.

His attorney told Channel 11 they plan to argue the shooting was in self-defense. Gonzales is on unpaid leave from the Aliquippa Police Department, according to his attorney.

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