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On Jan. 31, Bruce Kelley Jr. died in a fusillade of bullets fired by Port Authority of Allegheny County police officers after he fatally stabbed a dog they had set on him. Nearly five months later, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala has ruled the shooting was justified.

His detailed analysis was posted on the District Attorney’s Facebook page June 21.

In summary, Zappala said Kelley’s actions: assaulting an officer, brandishing a knife, slashing at another officer with that knife, and stabbing the police dog, “substantiates Officer (Dominic) Rivotti’s and Sergeant (Brian) O’Malley’s belief that he would continue to escape with the knife.”

He cites applicable law which states that if the officer(s) believe that, and “the perpetrator to be arrested has committed or attempted to commit a forcible felony or is attempting to escape and possesses a deadly weapon, or otherwise indicates he will endanger human life or inflict serious bodily injury unless arrested without delay” the use of deadly force is justifiable.

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