BRACKENRIDGE, Pa. (WHTM) – Flags are at half-staff in Pennsylvania following the shooting death of Brackenridge Police Chief Justin McIntire.
Chief McIntire was shot in the line of duty on January 2, 2023, while pursuing a fleeing parole violations suspect in Allegheny County.
Governor Tom Wolf ordered commonwealth flags to immediately be flown half-staff on all commonwealth facilities, public buildings and grounds.
Flags will remain at half-staff until Chief McIntire’s interment date, which has not yet been announced.
The United States flag is to remain at full-staff through this tribute.
Authorities in western Pennsylvania say five guns were recovered from the shooting suspect, who was killed by police after two other officers were wounded.
State Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the governor-elect, said slain Brackenridge Police Chief Justin McIntire “ran towards danger to keep Pennsylvanians safe — and he made the ultimate sacrifice in service to community.” The second officer was in stable condition with a leg wound and a third officer was hit by suspected shrapnel.
Allegheny County police said Tuesday that state police had tried to stop Aaron Lamont Swan Jr., 28, of nearby Duquesne, on Route 22 on probation violations involving weapons Sunday evening, but he fled.
Police said Harrison Township officers spotted him Monday and gave chase, and he fled again on foot. Police said he was spotted again about 2 p.m. Monday and officers from a number of departments pursued him for several hours through various neighborhoods.
Another foot pursuit began in Brackenridge after an officer spotted him about 4:15 p.m. Monday, and shots were fired in two locations that left McIntire dead and the Tarentum officer wounded in the leg. Police said Swan then walked into a home and demanded the inhabitant’s car keys, fleeing in the vehicle.
After multiple police departments and a SWAT team responded for the suspect now considered armed and dangerous, the stolen vehicle was spotted in Pittsburgh’s Lincoln-Lemington neighborhood. After a short pursuit the car crashed in the city’s Homewood-Brushton neighborhood and Swan again fled on foot into a wooded area.
While police set up a perimeter, Swan left the wooded area and ran into a housing development, firing at officers while fleeing, police said. Swan fired additional shots and police returned fire. Swan was declared dead at the scene. A Pittsburgh officer had a minor injury from what is believed to have been shrapnel, police said.
Five guns believed to have been used by Swan during the case were recovered, four in Brackenridge and one in Homewood-Brushton, police said. Allegheny County police will investigate the shooting of the suspect and turn their findings over to the county’s district attorney, authorities said.
On Monday evening, dozens of police cars lined the southbound lanes of Route 28 as a procession of officers brought McIntire’s body to the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office. Dozens of officers from departments across the county lined Pittsburgh streets as the procession passed, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
“He’s going to be sorely missed, there’s no doubt about that,” fire Chief Rick Jones said of McIntire on Monday evening, noting that McIntire grew up in the borough, The Post-Gazette reported.
“(He) loved his job, loved his community,” said Dave Miller, a firefighter and fire police captain with Pioneer Hose, told the Tribune-Review. “He was a hell of a guy.”
McIntire’s wife, Ashley, expressed heartbreak at her family’s loss. Describing him in a Facebook post as her best friend, she wrote that her entire world was gone “in the blink of an eye.”
“I am literally broken. I just want someone to tell me this nightmare is over … ,” she said. “I can’t even put into words how great of a person my husband was. He was my person. I love you with all my heart. Until we meet again.”