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East Pittsburgh Police Officer Charged With Homicide In...

Keith Srakocic

by

Updated at 10:55 a.m. ET

An East Pittsburgh police officer has been charged with criminal homicide over last week's shooting death of a 17-year-old who was fleeing a traffic stop.

Michael Rosfeld, 30, has been on administrative leave since the June 19 shooting, which has sparked days of demonstrations in the Pittsburgh area.

Rosfeld was arrested and charged Wednesday morning, according to court documents. He was released after posting $250,000 bail.

Antwon Rose Jr. was shot three times as he ran from the car that police had just pulled over in the Pittsburgh suburb last Tuesday.

Police said Rose was unarmed but two guns were recovered from the car he was riding in, which was suspected to have been involved in an earlier shooting.

A witness video of the incident has been viewed around 150,000 times on Facebook, and shows Rose along with a second passenger running from police as three shots ring out. Rose is seen collapsing.

Police said the Chevy Cruze was pulled over because it matched the description of a vehicle involved in the shooting of a 22-year-old just minutes earlier in nearby North Braddock Borough.

The other passenger, Zaijuan Hester, was arrested on Monday and charged two days later with attempted homicide.

The driver had been detained last Tuesday but was released after questioning without being charged, police said.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports a police affidavit says Rose is not suspected of having fired a weapon in the drive-by shooting.

In the week since he died, hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets of the Pittsburgh area demanding the Allegheny County District Attorney file charges against Rosfeld.

Lee Merritt, who represents the Rose family, said while they are glad Rosfeld was arrested and charged, action should have been taken sooner.

"When that video first went viral of Antwon Rose being shot in the back three times — at that time, there was no justification; an arrest warrant should have been issued immediately," Merritt said, according to audio released by ABC.

"The family views the homicide charge with guarded optimism," he added. "We believe it's a step in the right direction but we understand that there's gonna be a long road to a conviction and sentencing."

The Post-Gazette reports Rosfeld left his last job at the University of Pittsburgh after discrepancies were found between his sworn statement and evidence in a December arrest.

The newspaper reports The East Pittsburgh Police Department then hired Rosfeld in May, but he was officially sworn into the job just hours before Rose's shooting.

Hundreds of mourners gathered for Rose's funeral service Monday at Pittsburgh's Woodland Hills Intermediate School, reports WESA.

The service program told of his love of basketball, skating and surfing. It described him as a good student.

And it included a poem Rose had written, entitled: "I Am Not What You Think!" It reads in part:

"I see mothers bury their sons, I want my mom to never feel that pain, I AM CONFUSED AND AFRAID, I understand people believe I'm just a statistic, I say to them I'm different."

Rose was black. His death is the latest in a string of high-profile police shootings involving unarmed black men, notably in Ferguson, Mo., in Sacramento, Calif., and in Baton Rouge, La.

Ahead of Rose's wake on Sunday, his mother Michelle Kenney, spoke to ABC News about the officer who shot her son.

"He murdered my son in cold blood," Kenney said, "If he has a son, I pray his heart never has to hurt the way mine does."

A preliminary hearing in Rosfeld's case is scheduled for July 6.

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