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Officer responding to Pa. home disturbance killed

December 7th, 2009 . by TexasFred

Officer responding to Pa. home disturbance killed

PENN HILLS, Pa. (AP) - A police officer was fatally shot in suburban Pittsburgh as he heeded superiors’ advice to wait in his patrol car for backup to handle a deadly conflict at a home.

Penn Hills Officer Michael Crawshaw, 32, was killed Sunday evening after the suspect approached the car, opened fire with what appeared to be an assault rifle and fled, Chief Howard Burton said.

Police searched for the suspect and would not say Monday morning whether anyone was in custody.

Crawshaw was the first to respond to a 911 call made about 8:20 p.m. in which gunshots and screaming were heard, Burton said. Police had responded to calls there before, one reason why Crawshaw was advised to wait, Burton said.

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Officer responding to Pa. home disturbance killed

This is happening ALL too often. Our police officers are being murdered in great numbers lately.

Not to 2nd guess the situation in Pittsburgh, but sitting in your car, waiting for backup, as a gunfight is, or already has developed, is NOT the best strategy an officer can employ.

This reads like a really BAD, 3rd rate horror story, and as bad as I feel for the officer and his family, I am feeling that there were some very serious errors made in this instance.

1. This was a residence where there had been other disturbance calls in the past. That happens, and most departments have a list of KNOWN addresses where trouble occurs.

2. He was *advised by a superior* to wait in his patrol car for backup. Did the superior tell him to wait a few houses away from the residence? Was the officer parked in front OF the residence?

I am not about to denigrate a deceased officer, not in ANY way, but for the love of God, what kind of tactical training are they giving these officers and their superiors?

Yes, I am well aware that officers DO get killed in the line of duty, it’s a hazard of the trade. But when errors in tactics like this happen, and also in the recent murders of the Lakewood Police Department officers, an act that was made possible because all 4 officers were seated in a semi-circle shaped booth, I have to wonder, what has happened to tactical and defensive training!

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