A brutal standoff in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood came to a deadly end. An armed man exchanged gunfire with police before being shot by authorities and later pronounced dead. The incident prompted evacuations and a massive police response. The suspect, identified as William Hardison Sr., was barricaded inside a home on the 4800 block of Broad and North Mathilda streets. The public was urged to avoid the area as officers worked to resolve the situation.
During the standoff, the suspect unleashed gunfire from inside the house, posing a significant threat to law enforcement and the surrounding community. In an effort to locate the suspect, police deployed a drone, which ultimately led them to his position. SWAT officers concentrated their fire on the targeted area, ultimately striking the suspect.
The home where the standoff took place belonged to Hardison’s deceased brother, but it was sold in February at a sheriff’s sale. Sources revealed that Hardison considered himself a sovereign citizen, believing the laws of the United States or any local government did not bind him. His history included more than 20 citations for driving without a license, and a YouTube video from four years ago showed him challenging police authority.
Deputies from the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office were at the residence to serve an eviction notice when they encountered Hardison. The situation quickly escalated as the suspect opened fire, leading to a prolonged gun battle. Sheriff Kevin Kraus expressed surprise at the level of danger posed by Hardison, stating that they had no prior indication of his potential for violence or the presence of firearms in the house.
During the standoff, a sheriff sergeant sustained a head injury while attempting to evade gunfire. Fortunately, he is expected to recover. State police are now leading the investigation as they work to uncover more details about the suspect, the home, and the circumstances that led to the violent confrontation.