A man has been charged in a shooting that wounded a suburban Pittsburgh police officer following a pursuit of a stolen vehicle through two counties in western Pennsylvania, authorities said.
Westmoreland County prosecutors said in a statement Saturday that the vehicle had been reported stolen and was spotted in Turtle Creek in Allegheny County on Friday night. The chase went through Monroeville and into Allegheny Township in Westmoreland County, where the vehicle was stopped.
Officers approached and ordered the driver to get out, but he did not comply. The officers forced the driver's door open and saw him with a gun and a female in the passenger's seat, the district attorney's office said.
Police said the driver fired multiple shots from a 9mm handgun into a marked police cruiser that was next to his vehicle. Two shots struck a uniformed Monroeville officer in the arm and leg. An official at UPMC Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the officer was being treated there and that he was in stable condition.
Prosecutors and township police said Bruce Alvarado, 38, of Clairton, was charged with attempted homicide, assault of a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault and a dozen other counts. He was arraigned Saturday morning and denied bail. It was unclear whether he has an attorney, and a message could not be left at a number listed for him.
"We are so grateful this injured Monroeville Police Officer is going to recover," District Attorney Nicole Ziccarelli said in a statement Saturday. The officer's name was not immediately released.
Police said the female passenger told investigators that the driver said during the pursuit that he would "blow a cop’s head off." Prosecutors said the pursuit reached speeds of up to 90 mph.