James Henry “Rip” Taylor, Jr.

James Henry “Rip” Taylor, Jr., a sergeant with the Pittsburgh Police Department, was shot and killed in Lemington on September 22, 1995, during an altercation with local youths involved in gang activity.

Taylor, who was off duty and who lived in the area of the shooting, stopped to talk with the youth who were spraying graffiti. An argument followed and Tyrek Booker, 17, shot Taylor, who was intoxicated, with his own weapon. Booker was arrested after he turned himself in on September 26.

Charged with first-degree murder, Booker claimed at trial that he acted in self-defense. He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to five to ten years in prison.

Author: Bill Lofquist

I am a sociologist and death penalty scholar at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I am also a Pittsburgh native. My present research focuses on the history of the death penalty in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pa. This website is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about all Allegheny County cases in which a death sentence was imposed. Please share any questions or comments, errors or omissions, or other matters of interest related to these cases or to the broader history of the death penalty in Allegheny County.

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