PITTSBURGH (AP) – UPDATE: A Pittsburgh SWAT team was unable to find a gunman suspected of firing shots in the direction of police who were on routine patrol.
Commander RaShall Brackney says police have cleared the area – including four row homes where police believe the shots may have originated. But they found bullet casings a block away suggesting the person who fired the shots fled before the SWAT team arrived.
No officers were wounded, and their patrol vehicle wasn’t struck by the bullets – though at least one nearby building was shortly before 1 p.m.
Police continued to process the crime scene Tuesday afternoon.
Police Chief Cameron McLay said no officers were injured because they were able to withdraw and take cover after the shots were fired. Police were keeping people off the street and warning them to remain indoors for their own safety.
Three elementary schools in the neighborhood, Homewood, were locked down as a precaution.
The officers were checking on a local Salvation Army worship and service center when they reported seeing muzzle flashes from a home and feeling bullets whizzing past them before 1 p.m.
The officers took cover there with employees until other officers and the SWAT team arrived.
Police don’t believe the shooting was an ambush because the officers were patrolling normally and weren’t responding to a 911 call or other incident when the shots were fired, Brackney said.
The SWAT team had surrounded the row homes and was attempting to communicate with the person who was believed to have fired the shots, Brackney said. The SWAT team was preparing to enter one of the homes forcibly if necessary.
Nobody was answering phones at the Salvation Army on Tuesday afternoon.
Two of the schools were being dismissed normally but with the help and supervision of police, while a lockdown at a third school was lifted and a normal dismissal was planned.