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Police officers killed in line of duty in city, region | TribLIVE.com
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Police officers killed in line of duty in city, region

Tribune-Review
| Sunday, April 5, 2009 12:00 p.m

The last Pittsburgh police officer killed in the line of duty was Sgt. James “Rip” Taylor, 42, who was fatally shot Sept. 22, 1995, with his own pistol during a fight near his Lincoln-Lemington home with Tyrek Booker over gang graffiti. Booker, 18, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter.

On March 7, 1991, Pittsburgh Patrolmen Joseph Grill and Thomas Herron died when their police van was struck by another police van as they chased a car thief in the South Side.

On May 6, 2008, Ulf, a Pittsburgh police dog, was shot in Mt. Oliver by Justin Jackson, 19, of Knoxville. City police officers fatally shot Jackson. Ulf was memorialized as a fallen officer.

Other Western Pennsylvania police deaths in the line of duty:

• Nov. 19, 2008: FBI Special Agent Samuel Hicks was part of a team of agents seeking drug suspect Robert Korbe, 39, of Indiana Township. When agents broke through the front door of Korbe’s home just after 6 a.m., police say, his wife, Christina Korbe, 40, shot Hicks as he stepped inside. She is awaiting trial.

• Nov. 4, 2008: South Strabane police Officer Nathaniel Burnfield, 27, was struck and killed by a dump truck while trying to move a truck wheel and tire blocking lanes on Interstate 70 near the Bentleyville exit in Washington County

• Dec. 12, 2005: State police Cpl. Joseph Pokorny Jr., 45, of Moon was shot to death outside the ExtendedStay America hotel in Carnegie after pulling over a motorist for speeding on the Parkway West. Leslie D. Mollett, 32, of Mt. Oliver was convicted of first-degree murder.

• Aug. 27, 2003: State police Trooper Robert Bianchin, 32, of Harmony died in a car crash in Butler Township. Police later said he was drinking at a party while on duty.

• Nov. 9, 2002: State police Trooper Joseph Sepp, 34, of Somerset County was fatally shot in a gun battle with Mark Leach in Ebensburg. Leach, 46, of New Germany was convicted of first-degree murder.

• Nov. 7, 2001: State police Trooper Tod C. Kelly, 43, of Lawrence County died after being struck by a sport utility vehicle while removing debris from the roadway on Interstate 79 in Robinson. The SUV driver was not charged.

• March 15, 2001: Aliquippa police Officer James Naim, 32, was fatally shot in the head by Jamie Brown while patrolling a Beaver County housing project. Brown, 24, of Aliquippa was convicted of third-degree murder.

Source: Tribune-Review research

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