Suspect Arrested In New Kensington Police Officer's Death, More Arrested For Hindering Apprehension

Nov 21, 2017

The 29-year-old accused of killing a New Kensington police officer last Friday has been charged with first degree murder of a law enforcement officer.

Rahmael Holt was arrested Tuesday morning at a house in Hazelwood after evading police for four days. He faces four charges, including first degree murder of a law enforcement officer and carrying a firearm without a license.

Brian Shaw, who had been with the force for less than a year, was shot multiple times by Holt, according to Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck.

According to Peck, Shaw attempted to make a traffic stop last Friday at around 8 p.m. when the passenger of the car, Holt, fled on foot.

Holt allegedly shot Shaw multiple times after the officer pursued him. He is now being held in Westmoreland County Prison.

Officials say informants helped lead them to a home where they found Holt. Court documents show several friends and relatives — including Holt's mother — have been arrested for hindering his apprehension.

Investigators first spoke with Holt's mother on Sunday, according to a criminal complaint filed against her, and she told police she'd had no contact with her son.

Later Sunday, county detectives questioned her and she told them that she saw her son Friday night, after he shot and killed Shaw, according to the complaint. The complaint alleges she changed her story again on Monday,

The 47-year-old mother was arrested Monday night.

Holt's cousin, Marcel Mason, and the cousin's girlfriend, Aysa Benson, face similar charges. Benson told investigators Holt showed up at their Duquesne house Saturday afternoon and she took him to a bus stop after he changed into clothes given to him by Mason, according to the complaint.

Harper, the Jeep's driver, was arrested Sunday on drug and fleeing charges.

At an emotional press conference Tuesday morning, New Kensington police chief Jim Klein said Shaw was an exemplary officer.

"Our officers are dedicated to providing the best possible service to protect you and keep you safe," Klein said. "There's no better example than officer Brian Shaw, who gave his life serving the community."

Klein said grief counselors will be available for officers and staff in the coming days. He added that New Kensington police operations will resume later this week.

"I promise you that our officers will continue to serve with the same honor that Brian did, the same dedication that you guys expect, and you guys will receive," Klein said.

Shaw's funeral is scheduled for Wednesday. Visitation began Monday for Shaw and will continue at Rusiewicz Funeral Home in Lower Burrell on Tuesday.