PITTSBURGH PA FEB 29 2012 An armed security guard was shot to death inside his armored vehicle in the Strip District on Tuesday, and Pittsburgh police were searching for his partner who they said fled the scene.
Fellow employees of Garda Cash Logistics discovered the guard, Michael Haines, 31, of East McKeesport, dead of a gunshot wound to the back of the head inside the cargo area of the vehicle, which had stopped near a railroad crossing below the 31st Street Bridge. Police said the truck had been robbed but they would not say how much money had been taken.
Mr. Haines’ partner, Kenneth John Konias Jr., 22, of Dravosburg was missing for reasons that were not immediately clear, said Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki of the city’s major crimes division, whose robbery and homicide detectives flooded the area.
The commander said Mr. Konias may be armed with two semi-automatic pistols, but he did not say whether police believe either of them was the murder weapon.
Garda employees had spotted the vehicle under the bridge earlier but became concerned about 3:45 p.m., police said. They were calling 911 when a police detective who happened to be in the area came to their assistance.
Cmdr. Stangrecki said the truck had likely been idling for several hours underneath the bridge, which is just two blocks away from the Garda office on 33rd Street, before Mr. Haines’ body was found.
Emergency dispatchers told area police officers to be on the lookout for a tan Ford Explorer with Pennsylvania license plate GZW-4572 that detectives believe Mr. Konias was driving.
Officers searched for him at his home in Dravosburg to no avail. The FBI and other agencies were helping in the hunt.
A search of court records showed only a smattering of traffic and motor vehicle citations in Mr. Konias’ past. A woman who answered the phone at his parents’ home declined to comment. No charges had been filed in the slaying as of late Tuesday.
“We’re shocked at this news, and we’re fully cooperating with authorities,” said Joe Gavaghan, director of corporate communications for Garda, which is based in Boca Raton, Fla., and transports large amounts of cash between banks and businesses throughout the country.