SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. (WYTV) – The western Pennsylvania police officer killed in the line of duty Friday night was a student athlete at Slippery Rock University and, according to his former coaches and players, a standout both on and off the field.
The 25-year-old rookie New Kensington officer was shot in the chest during a chase after a traffic stop. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Brian Shaw was a kicker for Slippery Rock’s football team from 2010 to 2013. It was at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium where Shaw made a name for himself as a student athlete.
“He just wasn’t your average kicker that basically just kicked. He was a heck of a soccer player and was an outstanding track athlete,” Head Coach Shawn Lutz said.
Lutz remembers Shaw as the guy who always lifted the other players’ spirits.
“He knew how to joke around in a positive way to get the guys away from what just happened,” he said.
Lutz said Shaw always talked about becoming a police officer and his caring personality made him great at it.
“I saw a picture with a young boy with some toy handcuffs and then he said to the boy, ‘Hey, I’ll let you actually see what the real ones are like.’ He was just a people person.”
The call that Shaw had been killed in the line of duty came to Lutz late Friday night. He said it’s still hard to believe.
“We like to say in our program we are a brotherhood, we are a family atmosphere, and it’s just sad and it just doesn’t seem like it’s right.”
Lutz and a few other former coaches and teammates are planning on traveling to New Kensington on Tuesday for Shaw’s funeral.
Police are still looking for the shooting suspect, 29-year-old Rahmael Sal Holt, and are offering $300,000 for information on his whereabouts.