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Suspect to appear at hearing

Tawnya Panizzi

SHARPSBURG: The man who is accused of pulling a gun on Patrolman Steve Kober, who then shot the suspect, is expected to appear for a preliminary hearing Thursday.

Michael Nicholson, 27, of Pittsburgh, will face charges before District Justice Elissa Lang that include receiving stolen property, illegal possession or use of a firearm, illegal carrying of a firearm and two counts each of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. The shooting incident occurred Sept. 1.

His hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

Nicholson’s hearing was first scheduled Sept. 11 but was then delayed because he still was recuperating in the hospital, according to his attorney, Public Defender Cynthia Cook. Assistant District Attorney Michael Sullivan could not be reached for comment.

Nicholson, who also was later accused of running a heroin ring from a Ross Township motel, was in Allegheny General Hospital while recovering from a gunshot wound to his lower back. He was accused of pulling a handgun on Kober and Etna police Officer Gary Cutenese, who attempted to question Nicholson near the 100 block of South Main Street after coming upon a suspected drug deal.

According to court documents, Kober, a four-year veteran of the police department, noticed Nicholson about 3:10 a.m. in the area that police believe is a heavy-traffic location for drug deals. Kober attempted to question Nicholson, who resisted a weapons search. Sharpsburg police said Nicholson pulled a gun from his waistband but that it jammed. Kober ordered him to drop the weapon, but Nicholson refused. That’s when Kober opened fire in self-defense, Police Chief Mike Rapino said previously.

Rapino did not return calls left at his office seeking comment this week.

Kober was offered paid administrative leave while the Allegheny County Police investigate the shooting. At his request, he is assigned to desk duty.


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