- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A rifle-wielding man killed in a shootout with city and transit police on a busy highway has been identified as a suspected drug dealer with a history of run-ins with authorities.

Tyrone Dale Harris Jr., of Pittsburgh, had just posted bail Friday on drug-dealing and weapons charges filed in March.

Police responded just after 10 a.m. after reports of a man walking with a gun and firing at people near the Hilltop Community Children’s Center and, later, an armed man shooting a driver in the shoulder.

By 10:20 a.m., Harris had carjacked a different vehicle - not injuring the driver - and fled onto Route 51, where an Allegheny County sheriff’s deputy and city and Port Authority transit police gave chase.

When Harris got stuck in traffic, he climbed out of the stolen vehicle and began firing his semiautomatic AR-15 rifle at pursuing officers, Police Chief Cameron McLay said.

“This was not a fight the police caused,” McLay said. “This was not a fight where de-escalation was ever an option.”

The stretch of Route 51, where the final shootout occurred, is used by about 43,000 vehicles daily.

One of the shots Harris fired on the highway went through the deputy’s windshield, narrowly missing his head. The officers kept other drivers away from crossfire while exchanging shots with Harris, McLay said.

“I can’t say enough about the courage and skill shown by the officers responding to this,” McLay said.

No bystanders were hurt. The condition of the driver who was shot in the shoulder earlier wasn’t immediately clear.

In all, more than 100 shots were fired, most by Harris, police said.

The four city and one Port Authority officers who fired at Harris are on administrative leave, which is routine for officers involved in a fatal shooting.

The district attorney must review the shooting, but police were confident it will be deemed justifiable.

Results of an autopsy weren’t immediately available.

Harris was also awaiting trial in three other cases - a hit-and-run accident with a suspended license in February, an assault and chase stemming from a police traffic stop in October, and another drug case from last May.


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