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Pennsylvania Police Officer Killed By Man in 'Mental Health Crisis'

A police officer was killed by a man having a “mental health crisis” before he wounded another and fired a shot at a third before being wounded in a shootout in a western Pennsylvania city on Monday, according to the Associated Press. Two officers were dispatched to a domestic disturbance call in McKeesport, said Allegheny County Police Superintendent Christopher Kearns. The officers tried to talk to the man but he walked away from the home, and officers were warned by a family member that he might be armed. The officers encountered him nearby and he “suddenly produced a handgun and shot the two McKeesport officers,” Kearns said. One officer was taken to a hospital in McKeesport, where he was pronounced dead. Police Chief Adam Alfer identified him as Sean Sluganski, 32, who had worked for the department for two years. The second officer, Charles Thomas Jr., 35, was flown to a Pittsburgh-area trauma center. Thomas, who has been on the force for four years, was discharged by Monday night.

Kearns said the suspect was shot when he walked around a corner and fired at the third officer, who returned fire. The suspect was later listed in stable condition at a trauma center. Police said charges were being prepared against the suspect, who is known to McKeesport police. “They have dealt with him on past occasions,” Kearns said. The mayor’s office asked people to keep the department in their thoughts and to respect the families’ privacy “during this tragic and traumatic time.” The president of the Fraternal Order of Police state lodge, Joseph Regan, said the officers “left their homes knowing it was their duty to protect and serve McKeesport regardless of the outcome ... they made sacrifices we hoped and prayed they would never need to make. They are heroes.”


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