DA seeking death penalty for suspect in New Ken officer's death

DA seeking death penalty for suspect in New Ken officer’s death

WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. — The death penalty will be sought against Rahmael Holt, the man suspected of shooting and killing New Kensington Police Officer Brian Shaw in November.

The notice of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s intent to seek the death penalty in the case was filed Monday by Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck.

What we know about Rahmael Sal Holt, the suspected killer of police Officer Brian Shaw

Content Continues Below

Prosecutors believe aggravated circumstance exists in this case because Shaw was a police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty and died as a result of his official position.

Holt is charged in the death of Shaw, who was shot during an attempted traffic stop. He was arrested after a days-long manhunt.


Police said Holt ran as the Jeep Shaw tried to pull over on Nov. 17 kept going. Holt then fired multiple shots, hitting Shaw, according to investigators.

Shaw died at Allegheny Valley Hospital.

Holt is charged with murder of a law enforcement officer, first-degree murder and firearms violations.

Charges against Holt were held for court in December after his friend and driver of the Jeep, Tavon Harper, testified against him.

Harper testified that he had just sold marijuana to Holt when Shaw tried to initiate the traffic stop on Leishman Avenue. He said Holt wanted to hide a gun in his car, but he told him no and Holt opened the door as the vehicle was moving and took off.