community-based, non-corporate, participatory media

About Contact Us Policies Mailing Lists Radio Video Publish! Calendar Search

Cops shoot 12yr old in back in Fayette County
by Regina Friday, Dec. 27, 2002 at 8:48 AM

Cops shoot 12 yr old in back on Christmas eve.

Wow. Does anyone know anything being organized to see justice done for this kid? Just another reminder that the police are waging a war on the citizenry Scary to think these cops will probably not even be fired.

from corporate media
An autopsy showed that a 12-year-old Fayette County boy who died on Tuesday after he was chased by state police was shot once in the back, but authorities are not saying who fired the fatal shot.

The bullet passed through the heart of Michael Ellerbe, 12, of North Union, then through his chest and out of his body, Fayette County Coroner Dr. Phillip E. Reilly said yesterday.

Because the bullet was not recovered from Ellerbe's body, Reilly said he could not determine its caliber or identify the gun from which it was fired. State police would not say yesterday if they have identified who fired the bullet, but they have placed two troopers who were involved in the chase on administrative leave.

State police have said that several shots were fired during the chase, but have not said whether Ellerbe was armed or if he fired any of the shots.

Reilly said he will hold an inquest into the shooting Jan. 29. Although he usually allots a three-month period to pass between an incident and an inquest so laboratory and other tests can be completed, Reilly said he did not want to wait that long in this case.

"There are various stories circulating about the circumstances here," he said. "Because of the cloud and concern that hangs over the circumstances, we want to move it up."

The shooting occurred about 2:30 p.m. after the owner of a sport utility vehicle that had been reported stolen earlier in the day spotted the car on Connellsville Street in Uniontown, authorities said. The owner called 911, and Uniontown city police responded to pursue the car.

They lost sight of the car, but troopers picked up the chase. The driver of the car, later identified as Ellerbe, wrecked it after crashing into a house and a tree, then jumped out and ran.

State police Capt. Roger Waters, who is in charge of the Uniontown barracks, could not say whether Ellerbe was alone in the car.

State police said troopers ran after Ellerbe for several hundred yards and shots were fired during that chase.

Ellerbe was shot while running between two houses from Cleveland Avenue to Murray Avenue in a residential section of the city. People in the neighborhood said the boy collapsed in a back yard. He died a short time later at Uniontown Hospital.

Asked if a weapon was found on Ellerbe or in the vicinity of the chase, Waters said: "I'm not certain, but I can't say that there was."

Reilly said the preliminary autopsy results he received yesterday did not indicate if gunshot residue had been found on Ellerbe's hands, which would have indicated if he had fired a weapon.

Ellerbe's hands were covered after he was shot to protect any evidence that remained on them, Reilly said. But he said tests for gunshot residue would be conducted by state police in their laboratory during their investigation, rather than during the autopsy.

"I will be calling for that information at the inquest," he said.

Reilly farmed the autopsy out to Allegheny County Coroner Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, who is under contract to privately render pathological services to Fayette County.

The troopers involved in the incident, Juan Curry and Samuel Nassan, both of the Uniontown barracks, were reassigned to administrative duties pending completion of the investigation by state police and the Fayette County district attorney's office.

Such reassignments are routine when troopers are involved in critical incidents.

Curry, 32, is an eight-year veteran of the state police while Nassan, 30, has not yet completed a year on the force, Waters said.

Neither trooper has been involved in a shooting incident while working for the state police, Waters said.

Funeral arrangements for Ellerbe are incomplete but will be handled by the Muriel E. Lantz Funeral Home, Uniontown.

A woman who answered the telephone at the Ellerbe residence said family members had no comment.


add your comments

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 122 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Happy Birthday, Easter Zombie Officer Down Saturday, Dec. 24, 2005 at 6:01 PM
Happy Birthday, Easter Zombie Officer Down Saturday, Dec. 24, 2005 at 5:58 PM
Don't Have to.... George K. Friday, Dec. 23, 2005 at 4:20 AM
Shoot first, live free Kramer's Neighbor Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005 at 7:40 AM
PAY BACK IS A BITCH 2FKNBAD Thursday, Dec. 15, 2005 at 6:15 AM
"I'm beginning to think you're . . . in love with me." Freud Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2005 at 12:21 PM
that's not what I said, idiot bastard idiot bastard detector Monday, Oct. 24, 2005 at 10:08 PM
The logical and rational conclusion is that since you asked . . . Monday, Oct. 24, 2005 at 9:53 PM
that's not what I said idiot bastard detector Monday, Oct. 24, 2005 at 11:50 AM
the hypocrisy test thank you Sunday, Oct. 23, 2005 at 8:33 PM
© 2001-2009 Pittsburgh Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not endorsed by the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center.
Disclaimer | Privacy