Police: Security guard tackled man with BB gun firing at Benedum Center on Wednesday |

Police: Security guard tackled man with BB gun firing at Benedum Center on Wednesday

Megan Guza
Crowds often gather outside the Benedum Center, Downtown.
Andre Freeman Jr.

A security officer outside Downtown Pittsburgh’s Benedum Center tackled a man firing a BB gun into crowds Wednesday night, according to police.

Responding officers arrived at the scene on Seventh Street about 7:15 p.m. and found a man pinned to the ground by the Cultural Trust’s chief security officer, Kevin Wilkes, said Public Safety spokesman Chris Togneri.

Wilkes told police that he saw a man, later identified as Andre Raymonn Freeman Jr., walk onto Seventh Street in front of the crowd carrying a firearm, according to the criminal complaint against Freeman.

Freeman fired the gun into the air and then pointed it up and down, causing the crowds gathered outside a performance of “Fiddler on the Roof” to scatter, according to the complaint.

A witness told police she was outside the theater when she saw Freeman, wearing all black, begin waving his arms and firing, according to the complaint.

Police said that’s when Wilkes ran toward Freeman and tackled him to the ground.

No one was injured.

Police said the BB gun was all black and did not have the orange tip identifying it as a BB gun.

Freeman, 29, of Lincoln-Lemington, is charged with disorderly conduct, discharging a firearm or airgun, carrying facsimiles of weapons, simple assault and risking a catastrophe. He remains in the Allegheny County Jail unable to post $25,000 bail.

Baltimore police this month ticketed a man after he shouted “Heil Hitler, Heil Trump ” from a balcony during a performance of “Fiddler on the Roof.” Anthony M. Derlunas, 58, told police he had been drinking heavily before the Nov. 14 incident that was motivated by his hatred of President Donald Trump, according to the Baltimore Sun .

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.

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