Police Officer Janine Triolo Shoots, Kills Robbery Suspect In City’s Shadyside Neighborhood
PITTSBURGH — A Pittsburgh police officer who fatally shot an armed robbery suspect in Shadyside had surgery Friday for injuries she suffered when that man attacked her, police said.
Police said the officer — identified on Channel 4 Action News as 28-year-old Janine Triolo — was badly beaten and required surgery to fix her broken nose and put pins in her fingers because of the damage inflicted by 20-year-old Ryan Rashawn Davis.
They also say Davis tried to shoot her before she could do the same to him.
“With the blessing of God, we are very fortunate that we aren’t attending another officer’s funeral,” Police Chief Nate Harper said at a news conference Friday.
According to police reports, Triolo was investigating a robbery report around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday on Denniston Avenue near Schenley High School — formerly Reizenstein Middle School.
Investigators said Triolo told them that Davis initially complied with her order to put his hands against a wall, but he would not let her pat him down for weapons, so she tried to handcuff him.
“She did successfully get the one hand cuffed — took it behind his back,” Deputy Chief Paul Donaldson said. “When she went to cuff the other hand, he suddenly turned around and struck or punched her, knocking her to the ground.”
Police said Davis, who was 6 feet 1 inch tall, started pummeling the 5-foot-3 officer and tried unsuccessfully to get her gun. He also attempted to shoot her with his own gun.
“What made the weapon not fire is what we don’t know, but we do know that there was an intent to use the weapon,” Assistant Chief Maurita Bryant said.
Triolo was eventually able to pull out her weapon and fire two shots. At least one of the bullets struck Davis, killing the Lawrenceville man.
“She’s still in the hospital. She did suffer multiple facial injuries, broken bones in her hand and such, while having to defend herself against this actor, but we all hope that she’ll be fine after this,” said Dan O’Hara, president of Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1.
Davis’ grandmother, Lillie Mosley, told Channel 4 Action News’ Bob Mayo that she believed her grandson had turned his life around after serving time for armed robbery as a juvenile.
“I’m just sorry for what happened to the police lady, because I believe in Jesus Christ, and I don’t believe you’re supposed to kill or fight or whoop nobody, so I’m just so sorry that happened to her, sorry my grandson’s gone, because I did love him,” Mosley said.
The Pittsburgh Police Bureau said Triolo is a three-year veteran who works out of the Zone 4 station. She was offering backup in Zone 5 when she responded to the reported robbery and saw Davis there.
Police said that Davis’ gun — a 9mm Ruger P89 — was traced to someone outside Pittsburgh, but it was not reported stolen and there is no legal way Davis should have had possession, so they’re still trying to figure out how he got it.
“My grandson isn’t supposed to be carrying no weapon with him. That’s where he was wrong, and he might was afraid and was going to run,” Mosley said. “He never beat nobody, never whooped nobody, and I was very shocked when I heard that he was fighting a cop.”
Court records appear to show Davis was charged with armed robberies in 2006 and 2007 and was serving probation for carrying a firearm without a license in 2008.
“We’ve seen more and more violent encounters with police officers. These people that have guns we’re trying to remove from the street — obviously, they don’t want to go back to prison,” O’Hara said.
Triolo will go on paid administrative leave during an investigation by the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, which is standard procedure for a police shooting. It’s unclear when she will be physically able to return to street duty, assuming she gets cleared to do so.