Police: Double-Shooting Suspect Confessed To Killing Officer
Ronald Robinson Accused Of Shooting Penn Hills Police Officer Michael Crawshaw
POSTED: 9:22 pm EST December 6, 2009
UPDATED: 1:35 pm EST December 8, 2009
PENN HILLS, Pa. -- The man accused of killing a man over a $500 drug debt and then shooting and killing a Penn Hills police officer confessed to the crime, Allegheny County investigators said.
Officer Michael Crawshaw, 32, was shot with a high-powered rifle as he waited for backup to arrive at 201 Johnston Road at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday, county police Superintendent Charles Moffatt said.
According to the criminal complaint, Crawshaw saw the suspect, Ronald Robinson, leaving the scene of the first killing and talked to Robinson from his police car.
"The police officer in the vehicle told Robinson to stop," the complaint says. "Robinson stated that he responded by shooting at the police car, and the police officer inside, with the assault rifle. Robinson told investigators that he had shot and killed both Danyal Morton and Officer Crawshaw."
Two police officers responded to the scene after Crawshaw on the night of the shooting. Channel 4 Action News' Shannon Perrine reported that the officers talked to a man in the house who lived with Morton.
According to the criminal complaint, the witness, Lamar Jay, told police that Robinson came to the door and knocked. He asked where Morton was, then went inside and shot him.
Police officers discovered Morton's body upstairs. It wasn't until afterward that they went outside and realized their fellow officer had been shot in his patrol car.
"He didn't have a chance. He was ambushed," said witness Nancy Salera. "It was rapid gunfire. Semi-automatic machine gun
. And I heard a lot of screaming, a lot of yelling."
At a news conference on Monday morning, county police said the incident appears to have started with a dispute between Robinson, 32, of Homewood, and Morton, 40, of Penn Hills, who owed some money that Robinson had come to collect.
"The shooter does shoot Mr. Morton inside the home, and we believe he exits, and when he's exiting, he sees the officer there, so he just takes it upon himself to open up fire on the officer as he sat defenseless in his car," Moffatt said.