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DA details homicide charges against Officer Michael Rosfeld in Antwon Rose killing | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

DA details homicide charges against Officer Michael Rosfeld in Antwon Rose killing

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said Wednesday that investigators have enough evidence to try an East Pittsburgh police officer for third-degree murder in the shooting death of Antwon Rose, but the county’s top prosecutor isn’t ruling out filing a first-degree murder charge in the case.

“I find that (Officer Michael) Rosfeld’s actions were intentional,” District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said during a news conference. “It certainly brought about the result he was looking to accomplish. He was not acting to prevent death or severe bodily injury.”

Zappala said that Rose did not fire a weapon in a North Braddock drive-by shooting that preceded the felony traffic stop in East Pittsburgh where Rosfeld shot the 17-year-old from Rankin. Surveillance footage shows the shooter in North Braddock fired out of a car’s rear window while wearing a dark-colored shirt, while Rose had been wearing a light-colored shirt, sitting in the front passenger seat and the car’s front passenger window never came down.

Witnesses in East Pittsburgh told detectives that Rose was unarmed when he ran from a gold Chevrolet Cruze after Rosfeld pulled over the car.

“According to witnesses, Rose shows his hands, turns and runs,” Zappala said. “He is not in possession of a weapon.”

Zappala said he did not feel pressured to file charges by the multiple days and nights of protesting in and around Pittsburgh since the June 19 shooting.

“The people own the criminal justice system,” he said. “If they have issues with it, I think they have the right to express that.”

Zappala said Pennsylvania laws related to the use of deadly force do not protect what Rosfeld did.

“You have to show the person who you are arresting committed a forcible felony — as I said already, Antwon Rose didn’t do anything in North Braddock other than be in that vehicle — and you have to possess a weapon,” Zappala said.

Zappala noted that neither Rose nor Zaijuan Hester, 17, of Swissvale, a rear-seat passenger in the car, had a weapon on them when Rosfeld fired.

“You have to otherwise indicate somebody is in a position to take human life, and that is not the case here,” he said. “Unless you see a genuine threat, then it’s inappropriate — in fact, criminal — to take somebody’s life.”

Rosfeld faces one count of criminal homicide, which covers manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and the three degrees of murder.

“Evidence supports third-degree murder,” Zappala said. “We think we should have the right to argue murder in the first degree.”

Zappala said he has referred the East Pittsburgh police department to the U.S. Attorney’s Office because he is concerned about the borough department’s lack of policies.

“In response to questions by major crimes investigators when they first came on scene in East Pittsburgh, they said, ‘Well how do you handle these situations, what’s your policy?’ And he said, ‘We don’t have policy.'”

East Pittsburgh police and borough officials have said very little regarding the shooting, releasing just one public statement in which the officials expressed sympathy for Rose’s family but did not identify Rosfeld.

Allegheny County officials then released a statement saying they had been led to believe that East Pittsburgh officials would identify the officer. County police released Rosfeld’s name.

The doors of both the East Pittsburgh police station and borough offices were locked Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. A person who came to get a police report for the second time on Wednesday while reporters were there said the station is typically empty because there are so few officers employed.

No one answered the door at Mayor Louis Payne’s house.

Zappala said the department’s lack of policies creates a dangerous situation. Asked to elaborate on the dangers created by the lack of basic policies, he said, “Someone’s dead. Can there be an anymore dangerous situation?”

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib. Staff writer Renatta Signorini contributed.


RELATED: <a href="https://triblive.com/local/allegheny/antwonroseshooting/" target="_blank" Read all of TribLIVE’s coverage on the Antwon Rose case.



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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Funeral home employees lower the lid on the casket holding Antwon Rose prior to his funeral service at Woodland Hills Jr. High School on June 25, 2018.
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A woman raises her in front of stopped traffic after more than 150 people took over the Parkway East in both directions, Thursday, June 22, 2018 to protest East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld East fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
A fist is raised during a protest in Downtown Pittsburgh over the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Thomas Potter, 14, of East Pittsburgh, and friend of Antwon Rose, breaks down in tears as the second night of protests get underway on June 20, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Protesters march towards downtown from the Hill District protesting the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police on June 26, 2018.
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A group of around 500 protesters confront Pittsburgh Police by kneeling and raising their hands chanting 'Hands Up,' on Pittsburgh's South Side, Saturday, June 23, 2018, to protest East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld's fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student.
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Activist, Ciora Thomas confronts a State Troopers in riot gear after more than 150 people took over the Parkway East in both directions, Thursday, June 22, 2018 to protest East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld East fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student. Thomas was the only marcher arrested.
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Mian Laubscher, of Forest Hills and Woodland Hills High School graduate (middle) gets comfort fromYvette Jackson (left) of East Pittsburgh and fellow Woodland Hills graduate, Jacob Kefalos, of Forest Hills at a rally protesting police violence on Braddock Avenue and Electric Avenue in East Pittsburgh, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. The rally comes a a day after an East Hills Police Officer shot 17-year-old Antwon Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student during a traffic stop. Laubscher was a close friend of Rose. 'He helped me graduate,' said Laubscher.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto apologized for tweets he posted after the fatal shooting of a teenager in East Pittsburgh.
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Protesters listen to organizers while marching across the Roberto Clemente Bridge after congregating at the Wood St. T-Station Downtown protesting the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police on June 23, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The mother of Antwon Rose, Michelle Kenney, embraces Leon Ford Jr., who delivered the eulogy at the funeral service for Antwon Rose at Woodland Hills Jr. High School on June 25, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Christian Carter, 18, of East Liberty leads chants during the second night of protests following the shooting death of Antwon Rose June 20.
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A Pittsburgh Police officer dressed in riot gear stands at the ready to confront a group of around of 500 protesters on East Carson Street, Saturday, June 23, 2018, to protest East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld's fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student.
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The mother of Antwon Rose, Michelle Kenney, breaks down in tears during the funeral service for Antwon Rose at Woodland Hills Jr. High School on June 25, 2018.
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Jona Reyes, 26, of East Pittsburgh, is overcome with emotion while demonstrating with protesters following the shooting of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police.
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Traffic was stopped in both directions on 376 as a a group of demonstrators blocked traffic protesting the death of Antwon Rose on June 21, 2018.
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Protesters walk across the Roberto Clemente Bridge June 23 after congregating at the Wood St. T-Station Downtown while protesting the shooting death of Antwon Rose.
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Photos of for Antwon Rose Jr. were carried by marchers on Fifth Avenue during Pittsburgh's Juneteenth Parade from Freedom Corner in the Hill District to Point State Park, Saturday, 23, 2018. The parade served as an outlet for the crowd to protest East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld's fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student.
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Activist, Ciora Thomas confronts a State Troopers in riot gear after more than 150 people took over the Parkway East in both directions, Thursday, June 22, 2018 to protest East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld East fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student. Thomas was the only marcher arrested.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
A protester chants into a megaphone outside of Allegheny County Courthouse where people gathered to protest the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police on June 20, 2018.
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Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
A man raises a Black Lives Matter sign June 22 as he leads a group of 150 marchers protesting the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Children play in the rain as other community members took to the streets to protest around police headquarters in East Pittsburgh on June 20, 2018.
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Woodland Hills students, Tia Taylor of Rankin (left) and Jameira Mosley of Rankin weep after Taylor spoke about Antwon Rose in Market Square in Downtown Pittsburgh, Friday, June 22, 2018, after a march to protest East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld's fatal shooting of 17-year-old Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student.
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Protesters walk back across the Roberto Clemente Bridge after protesting outside of PNC Park following the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police on June 23, 2018.
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The casket of Antwon Rose is wheeled out of the auditorium of Woodland Hills Jr. High School where his funeral service was held on June 25, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Protesters march downtown protesting the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police on June 26, 2018.
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Protesters march down Center Avenue in the Hill, Tuesday, June 26, 2018, to protest East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld's fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Protesters march downtown protesting the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police on June 26, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Protester, Trey Willis, 32, of Washington Pa., marches downtown protesting the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police on June 26, 2018.
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Lorenzo Rulli, of Mckees Rocks stands in protest at Grant Steet and Sixth Avenue downtown, Tuesday, June 26, 2018, to protest East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld's fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student.
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Protester Marcus King, 19, of Turtle Creek listens as protesters speak on the steps of Allegheny County Courthouse on June 26, 2018.
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Dolly Prahu sits with other protesters, downtown, Tuesday, June 26, 2018, to protest East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld's fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Protesters march downtown protesting the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police on June 26, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Pennsylvania State Troopers stand watching protesters marching downtown protesting the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police on June 26, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Penn State University football player, LaMont Wade, raises a fist during a protest downtown following the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police on June 26, 2018.
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Lorenzo Rulli, of Mckees Rocks stands in protest at Grant Steet and Sixth Avenue downtown, Tuesday, June 26, 2018, to protest East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld's fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student.
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Protesters march down Sixth Avenue, downtown, Tuesday, June 26, 2018, to protest East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld's fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Protesters speak on the steps on City County Building downtown protesting the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police on June 26, 2018.
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District Attorney of Allegheny County, Stephen A. Zappala.
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East Pittsburgh police Officer Michael Rosfeld was charged with criminal homicide in the killing of 17-year-old Antwon Rose.
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Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. at a media briefing at the Allegheny County Courthouse about the shooting death of Antwon Rose.
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East Pittsburgh police Officer Michael Rosfeld was charged with criminal homicide in the killing of 17-year-old Antwon Rose.
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Antwon Rose
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
District Attorney Stephen Zappala speaks to the media during a press conference releasing details of the charging of East Pittsburgh police officer march downtown protesting the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld on June 27, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
District Attorney Stephen Zappala speaks to the media during a press conference releasing details of the charging of East Pittsburgh police officer march downtown protesting the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld on June 27, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Mourners hold hands as they pray during the funeral service for Antwon Rose at Woodland Hills Jr. High School on June 25, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Funeral home employees lower the lid on the casket holding Antwon Rose prior to his funeral service at Woodland Hills Jr. High School on June 25, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The mother of Antwon Rose, Michelle Kenney, breaks down in tears during the funeral service for Antwon Rose at Woodland Hills Jr. High School on June 25, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The mother of Antwon Rose, Michelle Kenney, breaks down in tears during his funeral service at Woodland Hills Jr. High School June 25.
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A mourner raises her fist as her car exits the parking lot at Woodland Hills Intermediate School following the funeral for Antown Rose Jr.'s , Monday, June 25, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Mourners rise to their feet to applaud Michelle Kenney, the mother of Antwon Rose, during the funeral service for Antwon Rose at Woodland Hills Jr. High School on June 25, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The mother of Antwon Rose, Michelle Kenney, embraces Leon Ford Jr., who delivered the eulogy at the funeral service for Antwon Rose at Woodland Hills Jr. High School on June 25, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The casket of Antwon Rose is wheeled out of the auditorium of Woodland Hills Jr. High School where his funeral service was held on June 25, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Thomas Potter, 14, of East Pittsburgh, and friend of Antwon Rose's, performs during his funeral service at Woodland Hills Jr. High School on June 25, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Programs are put out on a desk prior to the funeral service for Antwon Rose at Woodland Hills Jr. High School on June 25, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Leon Ford Jr. delivers the eulogy during the funeral service for Antwon Rose at Woodland Hills Jr. High School on June 25, 2018.
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Jamie Martines | Tribune-Review
The funeral service for Antwon Rose was held at the Woodland Hills Intermediate School in Swissvale on June 25, 2018.
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Jamie Martines | Tribune-Review
The funeral procession for the family and friends of Antwon Rose arrives at Woodland Hills Intermediate School in Swissvale on June 25, 2018.
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Gisele Barreto Fetterman speaks during the funeral service for Antwon Rose at Woodland Hills Jr. High School on June 25, 2018.
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Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Lillian McClain, a friend of Antown Rose Jr.'s family, hugs security guard Erias Blackwell at the Braddock Hills shopping center before boarding the shuttle bus to attend Rose's funeral at Woodland Hills Intermediate School, Monday, June 25, 2018.
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A day after family and friends paid their respects to Antwon Rose, a Woodland Hills honors student, the 17-year-old was eulogized in a funeral service Ñ six days after he was shot and killed by East Pittsburgh police as he ran from a car they had pulled over.
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