A standoff between law enforcement and a Pennsylvania homeowner in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood turned deadly on Wednesday. The occupant of the house, identified as William Hardison Sr., was pronounced dead after an hourslong confrontation with deputies who had arrived to serve an eviction notice.
The incident began when seven deputies approached the residence to carry out the eviction. It took several minutes before they were able to establish contact with the homeowner. However, upon making contact, the man opened fire, prompting the deputies to take cover and return fire. The exchange of gunfire continued for hours, with the suspect firing at law enforcement from various windows and even shooting down police drones. The situation escalated rapidly, leaving authorities no choice but to respond with force.
Law enforcement officials expressed surprise at the level of danger they encountered during the eviction. Sheriff Kevin Kraus stated that they had no prior information suggesting the individual was armed or posed a significant threat. The seven-officer detail dispatched to the scene was larger than usual, but it was not enough to prevent injuries. One deputy sustained head injuries while seeking cover and required stitches.
As the standoff unfolded, nearby residents were evacuated, and a warning was issued to the public to avoid the area. A neighbor across the street from the scene reported bullet holes in her house, recounting the terrifying moments when the gunfire erupted. She described the barrage of bullets and the fear that compelled her to take cover in her basement. The situation remained tense, with authorities working to ensure the safety of everyone in the vicinity.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, with authorities aiming to uncover more information about the suspect, the home, and any potential issues that may have led to the violent confrontation. The FBI is assisting local authorities in their efforts, although further details have been deferred to the Pittsburgh police and the sheriff’s office.