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Private Funeral, Interment for Fallen Officer

Procession will pass through city; road closures likely Tuesday

By Staff Reports
The Tube City Almanac
February 13, 2023
Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Map courtesy Allegheny County)

The funeral Mass for a McKeesport police officer killed in the line of duty on Feb. 6 will be restricted to family and invited friends and colleagues, officials have announced.

Officer Sean Sluganski, 32, will be interred Tuesday at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery in Jefferson Hills following a Mass of Christian Burial at 12 noon at St. Albert the Great Church in Baldwin Borough.

Police and county officials are asking residents to respect the wishes of the Sluganski family and not attend the church service, which is closed to the public. Although media will be permitted to cover events outside of the church, photography and video inside will not be permitted, a county spokesperson said.

In addition, media coverage will not be permitted inside the cemetery, the county said, and the commitment ceremony will not be open to the public.

A large crowd is expected to line portions of the funeral procession route, which will include Brentwood, Baldwin, Pleasant Hills, West Mifflin, Dravosburg, McKeesport and Jefferson Hills, approximately 25 miles total.

A county spokeswoman advised commuters who use those roads to find alternate routes on Tuesday afternoon between 2 and 5 p.m.

Traffic delays and rolling road closures are expected during the procession and commuters are being advised to avoid Lebanon Church Road, Route 51, Curry Hollow Road in Pleasant Hills, Dravosburg Hill, and Fifth Avenue and Lysle Boulevard in McKeesport, as well as Eden Park Boulevard and Walnut Street.

In the city, the procession will pass the Public Safety Building on Lysle Boulevard — where Sluganski worked — as well as McKeesport Area High School, Renziehausen Park, Penn State Greater Allegheny and UPMC McKeesport hospital, among other local landmarks.

A spokesperson for Mayor Michael Cherepko suggested that mourners who wish to show their support for the family during the procession should arrive at a viewing location no later than 2 p.m., and take advantage of parking lots at Renzie Park or area churches, and avoid parking on the procession route.

Baldwin-Whitehall, South Allegheny and McKeesport Area school districts have announced that students will have virtual, online classes on Tuesday. Baldwin-Whitehall will not provide bus transportation on Tuesday, a spokesperson said.

South Allegheny will provide bus transportation to Steel Center for Career & Technical Education on alternative routes, the district announced.

Large crowds attended viewings on Sunday and Monday at John F. Slater Funeral Home in Brentwood. Shuttle buses and off-site parking were required to accommodate the large crowd of mourners.

Sluganski, a McKeesport police officer for two years, previously served on the Charleroi Regional Police Department and Southwest Regional Police Department in Washington County. He is survived by his mother, Terri; fiancée, Chelsea Cancilla; daughter, Haven Sluganski; sisters, Sarah Griener and Shela Sluganski; grandmother, Marilyn Williams; and nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Johnathan Jermia Morris, 31, of McKeesport is accused of shooting Sluganski and McKeesport police Officer Chuck Thomas Jr., 35, after they responded to a domestic dispute at the home of Morris’ mother, Candace Tyler, on the afternoon of Feb. 6.

Thomas is currently recovering from his injuries at home, officials said.

Morris is being held in the Allegheny County Jail without bond pending a preliminary hearing on charges of criminal homicide, aggravated assault, assault on a law-enforcement officer and attempted murder of a law-enforcement officer in the first degree.

Originally published February 13, 2023.

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