- Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is running for Senate, revisited a 2013 incident involving chasing a Black jogger.
- Fetterman said he chased the man after hearing what he believed to be gunshots go off in his neighborhood.
- Fetterman said he did not know the race or gender of the person he was chasing at the time.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman addressed a 2013 incident in which he pulled a gun on a Black jogger in a new campaign video released Wednesday.
Fetterman, who has become a popular figure in Democratic circles, announced last week he’s running for Senate. In an unlisted two-and-a-half-minute video uploaded to YouTube Tuesday, Fetterman discussed the incident, which occurred when he was mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania.
In the video, Fetterman said that he was in his front yard with his then-4-year-old son when he heard what he believed were gunshots. He then saw a man wearing goggles and a face mask running in the direction of the local elementary school.
“I didn’t know if it was a rampage. I didn’t know if it was a drive-by. I didn’t understand. No one could know what was going on at that point, other than a large number of shots were fired from what sounded like a high-powered rifle,” Fetterman told WTAE in a 2013 interview.
Fetterman then called the police and followed the man.
In a statement to Insider about the incident, Fetterman said: “I made a split-second decision to intervene for the safety and protection of my community, and intercepted the person to stop them from going any further until the first responders could arrive. I stayed in my truck and never came in physical contact with the individual. I had my shotgun, but it was never pointed at the individual, and there wasn’t even a round chambered.”
When police arrived, they searched the jogger, identified as Chris Miyares, and found no weapons.
Miyares has disputed Fetterman’s claims that he never pointed his gun at him and told reporters at the time that the gun was aimed at his chest.
“He’s trying to make it like it’s OK. I mean, he’s trying to justify what he did. I mean, you’re the mayor of Braddock in North Braddock with a shotgun,” Miyares told WTAE in 2013.
Insider has reached out to Chris Miyares for comment.
Miyares told the outlet that the gunshots Fetterman believed he heard were actually bottle rockets set off by neighborhood kids.
No charges were filed against Miyares or Fetterman.
In Fetterman’s recently released video, he didn’t apologize for chasing Miyares, and instead said he was motivated to pursue the jogger because the man was running toward a school.
“This was a few weeks after the Sandy Hook child massacre. I realized I could never forgive myself if I didn’t do anything,” he said.
Fetterman denied that he had racially profiled Miyares and told Insider he was unable to identify the race or gender of the person he was chasing at the time.
“Between the ski mask and the way this person was dressed, bundled head to toe in the dead of winter, I didn’t know what race that individual was, or even their gender,” he said.
Fetterman has aligned himself with progressive politics and supported Bernie Sanders’ presidential run. He previously ran for Senate in 2016, and at the time, released a video promoting “sensible gun control.”
In a statement to The New York Times, Fetterman said the incident had been used in bad-faith attacks by his political opponents in the past, “and it’s never gone anywhere because people here know that I did the right thing for my community.”