Officers Paul Sciullo III was shot in the head and torso and Stephen Mayhle was shot in the head. They both died at the scene.
Officer Eric Kelly was on his way home when he responded to the call. He was gunned down in the street.
Richard Poplawski and the police then started a standoff. During the four hours that passed Poplawski allegedly attempted to kill at least nine other police officers according to the police. From a bedroom window the suspect fired onto the police.
There was at least one other domestic incident on police files concerning the suspect. In 2005 a former girlfriend of the suspect filed a protection from abuse order against him. She claimed that the man had threatened to kill her.
Friends who talked to the suspect during the standoff said that they had plans for the weekend.
“I got a call whenever I was at my job at Children’s Hospital and I heard gunfire and he said ‘Eddie, I’m gonna die today and he said tell your family I love them. Tell your mother I love her’ and he hung up the phone and I heard gunfire in the background right before he hung up,” said Perkovic. “He always told me if something like that ever happened he would commit suicide before he would give himself up and I came here immediately to negotiate… He sounded like he was in pain like he got shot.”
Friends are expressing shock about the young man they say is brilliant.
“Brilliant, though, smart. The brain on this kid,” said Jeff Loeffler. “He could have done anything he wanted I believe if he would have applied himself and really pushed himself. God only knows what twisted his mind so bad. I don’t know.”
Poplawski has been three counts of criminal homicide and nine counts of attempted homicide. He is also being charged with possessing an instrument of crime. That instrument was the bulletproof vest that he donned while in the gun battle with the police. It is not clear how the man obtained the vest. The 23-year-old man is also charged with firing weapons into two occupied neighboring homes and with recklessly endangering four civilians with gunfire.
That vest stopped an untold number of bullets keeping the man from being more seriously wounded. He is currently being held at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital for gun wounds to his legs. He is expected to survive.