WILKINSBURG, Pa. —The Port Authority of Allegheny County announced the sergeant and officer involved in the January fatal shooting in Wilkinsburg returned to duty Tuesday June 21. The move comes after the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office completed a nearly five-month review of the incident where Bruce Kelley Jr. was shot and killed after fatally stabbing a police K-9 on Jan. 31. District Attorney Stephen Zappala found that police Officer Dominic Rivotti and Sgt. Brian O’Malley were justified in their use of deadly force.

In a 13-page report dated June 10, 2016, Zappala outlined a “summary of the evidence,” the “scene,” “evidence from medical examiner’s office,” “applicable law,” “discussion” and his “conclusions”. Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 asked the District Attorney’s Office why the decision was released to the public 11 days after it was drafted and first disseminated. “Mr. Kelley Sr. is currently incarcerated.  It was appropriate to give him time to review the letter, the time to contact any people he wanted to share the letter with and the time to prepare any response to the findings,” said Mike Manko, spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office. Manko said Zappala was not available for any questions or any interviews Tuesday.

The District Attorney’s Office statement was released on its Facebook page, not directly to the news media. “After reviewing the case materials relative to the shooting death of Bruce Kelley, Jr., it is my conclusion that both Sergeant O’Malley and Officer Rivotti were justified in the use of deadly force under all the attendant circumstances,” wrote Zappala. Zappala wrote that Kelley Jr. charged at two officers, punched a female officer in the head, had brass knuckles, and pulled a knife on both officers. Zappala wrote that Kelley Jr. committing three felonies and his continued flight from officers justified the eventual deadly force that was used.

The district attorney wrote that officer tried to wrestle Kelley Jr. to the ground, tried to use a collapsible baton to remove the knife from him, and stunned him with a Taser, but that those methods did not work. “Quite simply, non-lethal options had been deployed at length and to no avail,” wrote Zappala on page 11 of the report. Kelley Jr. said “Is that all you got?” and “Go ahead, shoot me” to officers at various times, according to Zappala.

The report states that 11 shots were fired at Kelley Jr. who was struck seven times. Officer Dominic Rivotti fired twice and K-9 handler Sgt. Brian O’Malley fired nine times. “Civilian witness Danielle Smith confirmed that at the scene of the shooting the police gave repeated commands to drop the knife and get on the ground, as well as several Taser deployments,” the report stated. “She described Kelley, Jr. as looking ‘crazy and angry’. She stated that she felt compelled to yell at Kelley, Jr. ‘you better get down or you’ll get killed,'” the report also stated. Zappala wrote that Kelley Jr. covered a total distance of one half mile, that he had an “MTECH ballistic manual folding knife,” and that his BAC was .113 percent during a postmortem toxicology report.

It is clear that Officer Rivotti and Sergeant O’Malley believed the force was necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by resistance or escape… the fact that Kelley, Jr. used the deadly weapon he had in his possession to kill a police animal further bolsters the legitimate concern that he would otherwise endanger a human life,” wrote Zappala. Port Authority officers say they approached Kelley and his father at a gazebo where they were drinking. Officers said the two became combative. “We again extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Bruce Kelley, Jr. This was a tragic outcome for everyone involved and no words can change that,” said Port Authority CEO Ellen McLean. “We intend to move forward from here by taking positive steps to make this a better environment for the community.”

The Port Authority issued an apology to the Kelley family for the handling of the K-9’s death. “While the department was mourning the death of an officer, in hindsight, we shouldn’t have had the type of service and procession held for K-9 officer Aren,” said McLean. “We regret the insensitivity to the Kelley family during their time of mourning.” Several community leaders expressed their disagreement with Zappala’s decision Tuesday. “I cannot accept this decision. It is in appropriate. You cannot give police a right to go and shoot people over next to nothing,” said Tim Stevens. Stevens, chairman of the Black Political Empowerment Project, said an incident that started with a man accused of drinking in public shouldn’t end with that man dead. Stevens added that he believes Kelley, Jr. was not a serious threat at the time officers converged on him and that he was retreating.

Victor Muhammad who represents the Nation of Islam in Pittsburgh, said the DA’s decision furthers a pattern of racial injustice in the city.“The black community does not trust Mr. Zappala whatsoever because he has not demonstrated that he’s able to see us as people because the people have spoken over and over again about what the people want and since he represents the people he should have brought the charges and let the jury decide, but at this point he’s become the judge and the jury and has put the case away,” said Muhammad.

Port Authority officers have crisis intervention training, but the department has also invested in mental health first aid, which officers will receive this summer. The officer involved in the shooting will receive the training and be able to teach other officers this summer the Port Authority said. The Authority also said they will be reviewing and considering additional training that could further equip officers to handle “any and all situations.” The Port Authority did not acknowledge or respond to a request for an on-camera interview from Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 nor did the attorney for Bruce Kelley Sr. who is currently in Allegheny County Jail.