• Local police officers who have died both on and off duty


    Police officers in our area have died both on and off duty in recent years. Here is a list of some of the officers we have lost since 2005:

    Officer Calvin Hall, Pittsburgh Police


    Officer Hall was off duty this past weekend while he was visiting friends in Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood.

    He was shot in the back three times and police are still looking for whoever is responsible.

    Hall was with the department for two years after working for the Braddock Police Department.

    "He was known for his quick smile, ever-optimistic attitude and for his careerlong focus on community policing," said police Chief Scott Schubert.

    Sgt. Brian Cuscino, New Castle Police Department 

    Officer Down Memorial Page

    Detective Sgt. Brian Cuscino suffered a heart attack and died.  

    He was participating in the department’s physical fitness program at the time in 2018.

    Officer Brian Shaw, New Kensington Police Department

    Officer Brian Shaw, a young New Kensington police officer, was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 17, 2017.

    Shaw has been with the New Kensington Police Department for less than a year. He was a 2014 graduate of the Allegheny County Police Training Academy and worked part time at several departments until he got his first full-time job.

    Convicted drug felon Rahmael Holt is accused of shooting and killing Shaw during an attempted traffic stop.

    Holt's trial is scheduled to begin in November.

    Trooper Michael Stewart, Pennsylvania State Police 

    Pennsylvania State Police

    Trooper Michael Stewart's police cruiser collided with a garbage truck pulling out of the Forks Inn restaurant in Ligonier in July 2017.

    He would've celebrated his 27th birthday the week after the crash.

    Officer Scott Bashioum, Canonsburg Police Department 

    Officer Scott Bashioum, 52, was ambushed in November 2016 when he arrived at a home in response to a domestic dispute. 

    He also was a volunteer firefighter.

    He was the first Canonsburg officer to die in the line of duty in the town’s history. 

    The man responsible killed himself.

    Trooper Blake Coble, Pennsylvania State Police

    Trooper Blake Coble was killed in October 2012 when a driver allegedly ran a stop sign then collided with his cruiser in South Beaver Township.

    The driver was cited for careless driving. Coble was stationed with Troop D in Beaver where his wife was a dispatcher. 

    Officer Lloyd Reed, St. Clair Township Police Department 

    Officer Lloyd Reed_8439359

    Officer Lloyd Reed, 54, was responding to a domestic call when he was shot and killed in November 2015.

    Reed had worked in law enforcement for 20 years, including five years with the St. Clair department. 

    Ray Shetler was acquitted in Reed's death and was released from jail.

    The only charge he was convicted of was stealing a truck from the Conemaugh generating station in New Florence the night of the shooting.

    Officer Michael Crawshaw, Penn Hills Police Department

    Michael Crawshaw_2803832

    Penn Hills police officer Michael Crawshaw was shot and killed while responding to a shooting in December 2009.

    Ronald Robinson killed Danyal Morton in the bathroom over a $500 drug debt and as he fled sprayed Crawshaw‘s police car with shots from an AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle, striking the officer in the head and left arm, killing him instantly.  

    A jury convicted Robinson, who is serving two consecutive life terms in prison. 

    Officer Kristine Bartman, Evans City Police Department 

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    Officer Kristine Bartman was killed in a motorcycle crash on the Liberty Bridge in 2016.

    She was off duty at the time and although she had only been with the Evans City Police Department for 15 months, made a lasting impression.

    Officer John Dryer, East Washington Borough Police Department

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    Officer John David Dryer was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Interstate 70. Officer Robert Caldwell, who was backing up Dryer, was shot in the hand. Caldwell recovered from his injuries. Eli Franklin Myers, the man accused in the shooting, was shot dead during a gun battle with state police at his home on Logan Street in the village of Webster. 

    Lt. Eric Eslary, Ligonier Twp. Police Department 

    Lt. Eric Eslary and his K-9, Blek
    Lt. Eric Eslary and his K-9, Blek
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    Lt. Eric Eslary was on duty and patrolling Route 30 in May 2015 when a wrong-way driver hit his police vehicle.

    His K-9 partner, Blek, who was in the vehicle with him at the time, recovered.

    Eslary, who also served as a volunteer firefighter in Wilpen, was a husband and father of six.

    Clair Fink III was drunk while driving his employer's van and was charged with third-degree murder for causing the wrong-way crash that killed Eslary.

    Officer Richard Champion, Perryopolis Police

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    Officer Richard Champion, an Army reservist who had worked part-time as an officer in Perryopolis for eight months, died after his cruiser crashed into an SUV and caught fire on Route 51 in December of 2014.

    Police said the SUV driver turned in front of Champion, who was trying to catch up to a suspected speeder.

    Detective Paul J. Koropal, Allegheny County Police 
    Paul Koropal_7229245

    Detective Paul J. Koropal died in May 2015 after suffering a medical emergency.

    The detective was participating in the execution of federal search warrants at 11 locations in Fayette County at the time.

    Koropal, who was known to all of his colleagues as 'PJ,' was an 18-year veteran of the district attorney’s office.

    He was survived by his wife and two children.

    Officer William “Jerry” McCarthy, Shenango Twp. Police Department 

    William _Jerry_ McCarthy_3395704

    Officer William "Jerry" McCarthy was killed in the line of duty in May 2013 when a suspect in a car chase slammed into the police cruiser in which McCarthy was riding.

    In 2014, Kylee Barletto was sentenced to five to 10 years in prison.

    Cpl. Joseph Pokorny - Pennsylvania State Police

    Pennsylvania State Trooper Corporal Joseph Pokorny
    Pennsylvania State Trooper Corporal Joseph Pokorny
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    Cpl. Joseph Pokorny was shot and killed in December 2015 by his own gun during a traffic stop just off the Parkway West. An Allegheny County jury found Leslie Mollett guilty of first-degree murder.  He was sentenced to life without parole.

    Sgt. Perry Vahaly, Allegheny County Police Department

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    Sgt. Perry Vahaly died in September 2012 when he hit a deer while driving his motorcycle in Rostraver Township.

    Vahalay served nearly 17 years with the department. He had a wife and six children.

    Officer Derek Kotecki, Lower Burrell Police Department 
    Officer Derek Kotecki_1118960

    Officer Derek Kotecki was killed in October 2011 when he was trying to arrest Charles Post.

    Other officers shot at Post, who was killed.

    The husband and father of two would have celebrated his 18th anniversary as a city officer that week.

    Agent Samuel Hicks, FBI


    Agent Samuel Hicks, 33, a Westmoreland County native, was gunned down while serving a drug warrant at an Indiana Township home. Christina Korbe, 44, admitted to shooting Hicks as he and other agents arrived to arrest her husband at the couple's home. She is serving a 15-year, 10-month sentence.

    Officers Eric Kelly, Stephen Mayhle and Paul Sciullo II, Pittsburgh Police 

    Eric Kelly, Paul Sciullo and Stephen Mayhle.
    Eric Kelly, Paul Sciullo and Stephen Mayhle.

    Officers Eric Kelly, Stephen Mayhle and Paul Sciullo II were gunned down as they responded to a domestic disturbance call involving a woman and her son in the Stanton Heights section of the city on April 4, 2009.

    It was the deadliest single day in the 153-year history of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, officials said.

    Richard Poplawski was sentenced to the death penalty in 2011.

    Pennsylvania has not executed an inmate since 1989.

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