By JEHNA RAMISCAL
A witness in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer said Wednesday he saw the officer standing on the sidewalk, panicking, saying, “I don’t know why I shot him. I don’t know why I fired.” Former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld shot and killed 17-year old Antwon Rose in June 2018 as the teen ran from a car that the officer had pulled over. The teen was unarmed and just last week, another passenger in the car pleaded guilty to firing in the drive-by. “You do not shoot somebody in the back if they are not a threat to you,” Zappala said. The district attorney added that the officer gave conflicting accounts of whether he thought Rose was armed. Rose’s death sparked weeks of protests that shut down local roadways. Demonstrators felt that Rose’s death fit a national pattern of police brutality against black residents. “This car was involved in an attempted murder, that’s why it was stopped. It’s being stopped for going through a stop sign,” the lawyer said after a hearing in September. The shooting generated so much publicity that a judge worried that a local jury would deny Rosfeld a fair hearing. Jurors will come from Harrisburg instead. Since they must travel 200 miles to Pittsburgh, the trial will run through the week and into the weekend if necessary.