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DA Zappala: February officer-involved shooting death was ‘justified'

PITTSBURGH — Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said Tuesday that the fatal shooting of a man by police during an exchange of gunfire in February in Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood was justified.

Mark Daniels, 39, was shot and killed Feb. 11 after police said he first fired at officers who were on patrol in the area of Bennett Street and Brushton Avenue. Police had followed Daniels after officers saw him leaving Betts Market, appearing to be agitated and angry, authorities said.

“What is certain at this point in the evidence is that the officer was fired upon three times,” Zappala said during a news conference Tuesday. "The most important thing today is we lost a human life. I wanted to make sure you guys understood what the facts and circumstances were."

Zappala said Daniels fired the first shots, initiating an exchange of gunfire with police.

Daniels ran from police and was shot in the arm, Zappala said. The shot severed an artery.

An officer involved in the incident, Gino Macioce, is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by Allegheny County police.

Channel 11 News learned that Macioce had been involved in two other shootings in less than a year.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said they were investigated and procedures were followed.


"Macioce might be dead if he didn't have his weapon drawn," Zappala said. "I think Mr. Daniels only retreats because he returned fire."

The attorney representing members of the Daniels family said their own investigation contradicts some of what Zappala revealed Tuesday and they may file legal action of their own.

Zappala also revealed details of the toxicology report from Daniels' autopsy, which showed several drugs in his body, including methamphetamines.