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Pittsburgh double-murder suspect shoots himself following traffic stop in Kanawha County

CHARLESTON — A suspect in a Pittsburgh double-murder case died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Kanawha County Monday morning.

Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Joe Crawford said authorities learned at around 6 a.m. that Dennis Rahuba, 50, was driving toward Kanawha County. At just before 7 a.m. a Kanawha County deputy, J.A. Morris, spotted the vehicle going south on I-79 at Big Chimney.

“When the information was given out, our units went to the interstate area to look for the vehicle, which is common, that happens fairly frequently,” Crawford said.

Deputies and other law enforcement officers stopped Rahuba’s vehicle near the Westmoreland exit in Charleston a few minutes later. As police approached, they heard a gunshot.

A few minutes later they were able to confirm that Rahuba had taken his own life.

Crawford said they decided to close down both directions of the interstate during morning rush hour for safety reasons. The sheriff’s department used its armored vehicle to approach the vehicle after hearing the gunshot.

“Knowing that we had a suspect in a double-homicide, obviously that heightened our awareness, and we wanted to make sure that if something erupted out of that stop that people and the general motoring public were safe,” Crawford.

Rahuba allegedly shot and killed a 53-year-old man and a 50-year-old woman in Scott Township, Pa., at around 3 a.m. Monday.

Rahuba’s vehicle was later removed from the interstate and processed by Charleston police.

Crawford said the response by the sheriff’s department and other law enforcement was just as it should have been.

“Our men and women did an excellent job and it was textbook pretty much of how they were able to stop the vehicle,” Crawford said. “They did a lot of great things. Hats off to Metro 911, Charleston Police Department, state police and our members of the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department.”