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He was a rookie cop in a small Pennsylvania town. Now there's a massive manhunt for his killer

Investigators in Pennsylvania are still looking for the man who they say killed a police officer after a traffic stop Friday night.

New Kensington Police Chief Jim Klein mourns as Brian Shaw is brought to Rusiewicz Funeral Home.
New Kensington Police Chief Jim Klein mourns as Brian Shaw is brought to Rusiewicz Funeral Home.Read moreJack Fordyce / Pittsburgh Tribune-Review / AP

Investigators in Pennsylvania are still looking for the man who they say killed a police officer after a traffic stop Friday night.

Officer Brian Shaw, a 25-year-old patrolman, was shot just after 8 p.m. in New Kensington, Pa., about 20 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Authorities said the suspect jumped out of an SUV and ran away after Shaw tried to pull over the vehicle. He shot the officer during the chase, New Kensington Police Chief James Klein said at a news conference.

The manhunt for the suspected gunman, 29-year-old Rahmael Sal Holt, has so far lasted more than two days. Multiple law enforcement agencies and several residents have offered a total of $53,500 to anyone who can provide information leading to Holt's capture.

On Friday, after the shooting, a visibly upset Klein addressed reporters for less than a minute, taking a deep breath before he started speaking. The chief did not take questions.

"I'm asking anybody, anybody with any information, as minute as they think it might be, please, please give us a call. We need to find the person that did this. Thank you very much," Klein said before he walked away with a few uniformed officers.

The driver of the SUV, Tavon Jamere Harper, was arrested Sunday after detectives found him in the second-floor bedroom of a home in New Kensington, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reported. He is facing fleeing and drug-related charges. Authorities said Harper kept driving after Holt got out of the vehicle, and that heroin was found inside the home.

The detective in charge of the investigation has not returned a call from The Washington Post.

Authorities have remained tight-lipped about the investigation. Police have not said why the SUV was pulled over, or why the suspected gunman fled.

It also remains unclear how many shots were fired, or whether any of them came from the officer's gun.

Holt has a lengthy criminal history that stretches to at least 2007. Court records show he had pleaded guilty on drug and gun charges, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Nicole Drum told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review that she was sitting in her living room Friday night when she heard gunshots just outside her New Kensington home. She looked outside and saw Shaw fall to the ground and ran out to help him. Drum said she heard at least six shots, two of which hit her house.

"I was trying to talk to him," Drum said. "He wasn't responding."

The Drum home had a surveillance camera mounted under the second-story eave, Wayne Drum told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. He said investigators had taken his hard drive to see what the camera had captured.

Another neighbor, Brad Larocca, said he looked out the window after hearing gunshots and saw the officer struggling to sit up.

"I don't know if he was trying to talk," Larocca told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. "He was gasping for air."

Shaw died at a hospital. He had been with the police department for less than a year.

He began working for the New Kensington Police Department in June, the Associated Press reported. He had also worked as a part-time officer for three other towns.

Shaw left behind not only his parents, but also his brother, a grandmother and his girlfriend, according to his obituary.

He loved working out, hunting and playing with his dogs, Satie May and Gus. He was also a fan of sports and enjoyed playing soccer and football.

He graduated from Burrell High School and attended Slippery Rock University, where he received a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and played football for four years. He also graduated from the Allegheny County Police Academy.

"Our hearts are broken this morning as we mourn the loss of former Rock football player Brian Shaw, who was killed last night while serving as a police officer in New Kensington," the university's athletics department said Saturday on Twitter. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Shaw family and The Rock football brotherhood."

A procession to move Shaw's body to the Rusiewicz Funeral Home in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania, where the officer lived, took place Saturday morning. Residents, many of whom carried American flags, and firefighters, all wearing their gear, waited on the streets to pay their respects.