PITTSBURGH (AP) – Prosecutors have announced plans to seek the death penalty in the slaying of an off-duty Pittsburgh police officer shot to death in a street confrontation last month.
The Allegheny County district attorney’s office informed the court Monday of their intention to seek capital punishment should Christian Bey be convicted of first-degree murder.
Prosecutors also unsealed the indictment charging Bey, 30, with homicide and firearms crimes in the July 14 shooting of 35-year-old Officer Calvin Hall during a street dispute in the Homewood neighborhood as a party was going on.
Prosecutors argued that the death penalty would be warranted because the victim was a police officer, the slaying allegedly occurred during commission of another felony and there was also risk to another person.
Authorities said Hall died at a hospital three days after he was shot three times. Family members told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Hall was visiting cousins but decided to leave because a party across the street was getting rowdy. He then returned to make sure everyone was safe after his cousin was threatened by someone with a gun.
His cousin, Darnell Coates, said an argument among a small group of people in the street, including Hall, escalated. He and Hall tried to leave, and shots rang out, hitting Hall, he said.
Hall joined the Pittsburgh police force two years ago after previously serving as an officer in Braddock and at Point Park University.