Charged officer said he perceived gun, then said he didn’t
Excerpt from police complaint charging Officer Michael Rosfeld in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with criminal homicide in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose:
Rose was a passenger in an unlicensed cab stopped in an investigation of a drive-by shooting June 19. He was shot in the back, face and elbow as he and the second passenger fled the car. The other passenger was charged in the earlier crime, but a prosecutor said Wednesday that Rose had nothing to do with it.
The prosecutor said Rose, who was sitting in the front seat, had shown his hands when he got out of the car and was unarmed.
The complaint said Rosfeld gave conflicting statements to county detectives.
“Officer Rosfeld stated that, after he ordered the driver out and had him prone, but before he could turn his attention to the other occupants, the front passenger exited the vehicle. He said this person turned his hand toward Officer Rosfeld and he, Officer Rosfeld, saw something dark that he perceived as a gun.
“This observation caused him to step from behind the cover of his car. This observation caused him to step from behind the cover of his car door to acquire a better view. He then fired his weapon. At the same time, a second person fled the vehicle from the passenger side.
“At the conclusion of Rosfeld’s statement, the detectives asked him to go over the sequence of events one more time. During that rendition, Rosfeld told the detectives that he did not see a gun when the passenger emerged and ran.
“When confronted with this inconsistency, Rosfeld stated he saw something in the passenger’s hand but was not sure what it was. In addition, Officer Rosfeld stated that he was not certain if the individual who had his arm pointed at him was still pointing at him when he fired the shots.”