Teen linked to Antwon Rose police shooting charged with attempted homicide
A teen police believe fled alongside Antwon Rose when he was shot and killed last week by East Pittsburgh police has been charged with taking part in a drive-by shooting in North Braddock that preceded the fatal encounter.
Zaijuan Hester, 17, of Swissvale was arrested Monday on unrelated charges. Authorities on Wednesday charged him with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, receiving stolen property and firearms violations in connection with the June 19 drive-by shooting.
The North Braddock shooting happened shortly before 8:30 p.m. on Kirkpatrick Avenue. A 22-year-old man wounded in that shooting was treated and released from a hospital for a graze wound to the abdomen.
Hester was allegedly a backseat passenger in a jitney that he and Rose had hired to take them from Hawkins Village in Rankin to Grandview Avenue in East Pittsburgh, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday.
Here’s surveillance footage from the North Braddock shooting scene (which led to #AntwonRose shooting). Shows rear window come down and individual in a dark shirt open fire. DA says Rose was wearing a white shirt and seated in the passenger seat. pic.twitter.com/nPkNIlRxQJ
— Megan Guza (@meganguzaTrib) June 27, 2018
The jitney driver told detectives that when they slowed at a stop sign near the intersection of Baldridge and Jones avenues in North Braddock, he heard the back passenger ask, “Is that him?” according to the complaint.
The same backseat passenger then fired at a man, who returned fire from the street, detectives wrote. The driver said that the shots definitely came from the rear passenger seat.
District Attorney Stephen Zappala on Wednesday publicly stated that Hester was the shooter.
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At 8:40 p.m., East Pittsburgh police pulled over a vehicle near Grandview Avenue and Howard Street that matched the description of one involved in the North Braddock shooting, including gunfire damage to its back window.
As Officer Michael Rosfeld ordered the 20-year-old driver to the ground, two people ran from the car. Rosfeld opened fire, striking 17-year-old Rose three times in the back. The other person, now identified as Hester, kept running.
Investigators released the driver after questioning. Police found two guns in his car. Rose was unarmed when he was shot but had an empty handgun magazine in a pocket, He was pronounced dead at UPMC McKeesport.
The shooting of Rose, who is black, has led to numerous demonstrations in and around Pittsburgh and sparked vigorous public debate nationally. Rose was eulogized in a private funeral service Monday.
RELATED: <a href="https://triblive.com/local/allegheny/antwonroseshooting/" target="_blank" Read all of TribLIVE’s coverage on the Antwon Rose case.