Police identify suspected cop killer on the run — and reveal a giant new reward for information

Pennsylvania State Police have identified the suspect in the Friday night traffic stop shooting of New Kensington police officer Brian Shaw, who was killed in his first year of duty while performing a traffic stop.

Ofc. Shaw was shot twice in the chest in the foot pursuit that began after the traffic stop. Though he was wearing a bulletproof vest, Shaw died of his wounds in the hospital. Later that night, police recovered an abandoned Jeep Cherokee that they say was involved in the traffic stop.

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Brad Larocca, who lives near the scene of the shooting, said he heard the “rapid” shots that night. He couldn’t distinguish whether Shaw or the other person was shooting. “Whichever one was shooting knew how to use a gun,” he told The Morning Call. “It was quick.”

While he tried to help Shaw after the shooting, he said there wasn’t much he could do.

“He was gasping for air,” said Larocca, adding that Shaw tried to sit up before collapsing.

The suspect has now been identified as 29-year-old Rahmael Sal Holt of Natrona Heights, Pa. Holt, who is considered armed and dangerous, faces charges of first-degree murder and murder of a police officer, according to Fox News. Those charges were filed yesterday. He is described as 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds.

Holt’s record is a decade long, beginning with two 2007 arrests for possession of an unlicensed firearm, according to Trib Live. He was acquitted on the first charge and sentenced to two years’ probation in the second, but he was acquitted of that, too, in 2008. Holt saw two to four years’ hard time in 2012 after pleading guilty to drug charges in Pittsburgh.

The investigation into the shooting — and accompanying statewide manhunt — is led by Westmoreland County detectives, aided by the FBI, the ATF, Pennsylvania State Police and a slew of local agencies, per Trib Live.

Holt’s girlfriend has been questioned and released by police. New Kensington police are in the process of acquiring a warrant to search their home, according to WXPI.

An additional $3500 has been added to the reward for information leading to the location and arrest of Rahmael Sal Holt, bringing the total to $43,500.

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