Police dispute reports video shows East Pittsburgh teenager firing gun, had gunshot residue on hands

Reports have circulated surveillance video showed Antwon Rose shooting a gun.

June 23, 2018, 1:38 PM

Pennsylvania authorities took issue with multiple "irresponsible" reports about the deadly police shooting of an unarmed teenager in East Pittsburgh -- a case that has gained national attention and generated local protests in the past several days.

Antwon Rose, 17, was shot and killed by a police officer in East Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, after the African-American teen and two others were pulled over in a car believed to have been connected to an earlier shooting that same night.

The shooting was captured by a bystander on cellphone video, which is being reviewed by authorities.

On Friday, Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough released a lengthy statement disputing a report that surveillance video showed Rose firing a gun in connection with the earlier shooting.

"The Allegheny County Police Department (ACPD) continues to receive inquiries related to reports from police sources that 1) a video of the drive-by shooting in North Braddock shows Antwon Rose firing a gun; and, 2) that gunshot residue has been found on Antwon Rose’s hands," McDonough said in the statement, before adding that "both reports are false."

"While ACPD does have a video showing the North Braddock incident, that video does NOT show Antwon Rose firing a gun," McDonough said. "The information about gunshot residue is also false. Crime Lab reports are still pending and have not yet been issued."

Protesters chant "Hands up! Don't shoot!" at motorcycle officers near the head of a line of vehicles stuck on Interstate 376 in Pittsburgh on Thursday, June 21, 2018.
Protesters chant "Hands up! Don't shoot!" at motorcycle officers near the head of a line of vehicles stuck on Interstate 376 in Pittsburgh on Thursday, June 21, 2018.

CBS affiliate KDKA in Pittsburgh had reported both pieces of information, attributed to anonymous sources, earlier Friday.

McDonough admonished the media for what he called "irresponsible" reports.

"We caution the media about providing irresponsible information from sources that are not verified," he said in the statement. "Once published, such false information can be widely spread. We share your interest in providing answers to the many questions in our community, and are working expeditiously to gather all of the available information and detail so that it can be reviewed, and answers provided."

KDKA did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner has ruled Rose's death a homicide. The teen was fatally shot in the upper body when he and another passenger in the car fled on foot from police during the traffic stop in East Pittsburgh, a borough some 11 miles southeast of downtown Pittsburgh.

Rose's family is "devastated" and "stunned" by his death, the family's attorney Fred Rabner told ABC News on Thursday.

Rabner described Rose as a "beautiful, kind" and hard-working teenager who worked with young children at a gymnastics gym as well as at a local Domino's Pizza

A funeral for Rose will be held Monday.

During an interview Friday with ABC affiliate WTAE in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala revealed that an empty gun ammunition clip was found in Rose's pocket after the shooting.

Rose did not have a gun, authorities said.

Zappala also confirmed that there's video of the first shooting, which investigators say lead to the traffic stop where Rose was shot, and that the car Rose was in matched the description provided by witnesses.

The officer who shot Rose was identified by authorities as 30-year-old Michael Rosfeld of the East Pittsburgh Police Department, who had been on the job for just three weeks. The Allegheny County Police Department is leading the investigation into the deadly shooting.

Zappala said he expected investigators to interview Rosfeld on Friday, and that he doesn't plan to turn over the case to the state attorney general's office.

Antwon Rose, 17, wrote the poem two years before police fatally shot him.
Antwon Rose, 17, wrote the poem two years before police fatally shot him.

Protests condemning Rose's killing continued in downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday morning for a fourth straight day. The turnout of demonstrators was large but appeared to be peaceful as they chanted for "justice."

On Friday night, hundreds of protesters rallied outside PNC Park baseball field, where the Pittsburgh Pirates were playing the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The demonstrators also halted traffic and block streets as they marched to the Homestead Grays Bridge, which crosses the Monongahela River between East Pittsburgh and Homestead, Pennsylvania.

WTAE reported that "several arrests were made," though the marchers were largely peaceful.

During a rally Thursday, one protester read a now-haunting poem written by Rose in 2016.

"I see mothers bury their sons," the poem says. "I want my mom to never feel that pain."

ABC News' Armando Garcia, Kenneth Moton, Dominick Proto and Emily Shapiro contributed to this report.