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Driver arrested in fatal police shooting

November 20, 2017 News Extra

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Tavon J. Harper

NEW KENSINGTON — The suspected driver of a vehicle that left the scene of a New Kensington police officer's fatal shooting was arrested on fleeing and drug charges on Sunday.

Tavon J. Harper, 27, of New Kensington, is currently being held in the Westmoreland County Prison on $500,000 bail, after being charged with two felony counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and misdemeanor fleeing or eluding law enforcement.

Police say Harper is believed to have been the driver of a vehicle that was involved in the fatal shooting of New Kensington police officer Brian Shaw, 25, on Friday.

Shaw was a 2013 Slippery Rock University graduate and joined the New Kensington police force in June.

The charges stem from a search warrant that was executed at 1105 Kenneth Ave., New Kensington, on Saturday, which discovered about two bundles of heroin stamp bags in a second-floor bedroom where Harper lives, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

During a later interview, Harper admitted that he had delivered a quantity of marijuana to Rahmael S. Holt, 29, of Natrona Heights, in the city of Arnold.

Holt is wanted for the shooting death of Shaw.

Shaw initiated a traffic stop on a Jeep SUV driven by Harper at 10 p.m. Friday on Leishman Avenue, the document states.

However, the vehicle never stopped, and Holt, who was a passenger, fled the vehicle and was pursued by Shaw on foot. Harper drove off in the vehicle, the document states.

Immediately following, Holt allegedly fired multiple shots, killing Shaw, the document states.

Holt is wanted on charges of homicide and felony gun charges and police are continuing to search for him. Anyone with information on Holt's whereabouts should call 911. He is considered to be armed and dangerous.

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