Man shot by police officer held for court |

Man shot by police officer held for court

Seated in a wheelchair, Michael S. Nicholson on Thursday faced the police officer who put him there.

Sharpsburg Patrolman Steve Kober shot Nicholson in the lower back earlier this month on a Sharpsburg street corner. Kober recounted the incident before Sharpsburg District Justice Elissa Lang during a preliminary hearing for Nicholson, 27, of Bateman Street, Millvale.

Nicholson was held for court on two counts each of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment, a charge of receiving stolen property and firearms violations. His next court date is Dec. 3 in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.

Kober testified he shot Nicholson around 3:10 a.m. Sept. 1 after the Millvale man failed to put down a pistol he brandished when approached by the officer in the 100 block of South Main Street, a known drug-trafficking area. Police later discovered $100,000 worth of heroin, marijuana and drug paraphernalia in a Ross hotel room rented by Nicholson.

Kober fired several shots at Nicholson, one hitting Nicholson in the lower back, according to court documents.

Nicholson is staying at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital-Harmarville, in Indiana Township, as he recuperates from his wounds. He did not testify during the hearing.

County police investigators cleared Kober of wrongdoing, determining that he acted in self-defense, said Lt. John Brennan of the county homicide unit.

Sharpsburg police Capt. Leo Rudzki said Kober returned to regular duty three or four days after the incident. Rather than take time off after the shooting, he initially took desk duty.

The 9 mm pistol police say Nicholson was carrying was reported stolen Aug. 26 from the safe of a Sharpsburg pizzeria. The pistol had a round in a chamber and others in the magazine, according to police records.

Nicholson also faces charges in connection to the drugs in his hotel room at InTown Suites along McKnight Road in Ross. William J. Kearns and Nicholson’s girlfriend, Tina M. Cook, also face charges in connection to the drugs in Nicholson’s room.

A preliminary hearing for Kearns and Cook has been rescheduled for Oct. 22 before West View District Justice Mark Devlin.

Kearns, 27, of Solar Street, North Side, was in a vehicle that sped away from the shooting. Cook, 32, of Bateman Street, Millvale, was in Nicholson’s room when police came there after the shooting.

All three are charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute, possession of a small amount of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and conspiracy.

Cook remained in the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $1,000 bond. Kearns was released on bail Wednesday.

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