A Little About Brian
Brian David Shaw was born on December 30, 1991. He was the son of Lisa and Stephan Shaw and younger brother of Steffan Shaw. He was born and raised in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania and attended Burrell School District. Throughout his life, Brian was energetic, competitive and abundantly social. To classify Brian as a chatterbox would perhaps be somewhat of an understatement. He liked to talk so much that he had to be silenced in grade school...quite often. However, that’s what made Brian, Brian.
As a child, Brian thoroughly enjoyed playing outside and exploring through the woods in search of wildlife as he had a fascination with small reptiles, such as snakes and frogs. With his love for the outdoors, he also enjoyed hunting with his father and brother. He was ecstatic to get his first doe at the age of twelve and, at thirteen, his first buck. Brian took great pride in these accomplishments.
He also loved sports as he was a natural-born athlete. His first passion was soccer, which he began playing at the age of five with the Tri-City Soccer Association. Throughout his soccer career, he would practice not only with his own team but with his older brother’s team as well. He was always dedicated to perfecting his talents. In 2001, he joined the International Football Club (IFC) based in Harmarville, Pennsylvania, winning the PPA Championship in 2004. In 2007, he started playing for FC Pittsburgh, winning first place in the PA West Classic League in 2007 & 2008 and also placing as PA West State Cup Semi Finalists in 2008. Brian also played soccer for Burrell High School. During this time, his team placed as Section Champions in 2006 and 2007 and he was selected All Section Defender on the high school soccer team and received the Unsung Hero Award.
Brian also participated in track during his tenure at Burrell High School. He was a three-time MVP in track and field, a state qualifier in the 200-meter dash and a state qualifier in the 1,600-meter relay. He also quickly adapted to football, making a name for himself through his talents as the team’s kicker. He became known for his kickoffs as they were either in or past the end zone. During his junior year, he was selected as the Second Team All-Conference Place Kicker, the First Team All-Conference Place Kicker and Second Team All Playbook Place Kicker.
Brian played football in college as well, earning his place as the kickoff specialist for two Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West titles in 2011 and 2013. In the words of his college football coach, “he was a true leader among his team. He had the ability to light up a room with his smile alone.” Further, Brian always made time to help his former coach, Jon Bouchat, with his kicking camps. He continued to work with the high school boys soccer team as he was dedicated on being a role model for the youth of the community.
After graduating from Burrell High School, Brian attended Slippery Rock University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice in 2014. Although his studies and football career were of the utmost importance, Brian also dedicated his time to other things about which he felt passionately. He participated and assisted with a Special Olympics event that was hosted at Slippery Rock. Brian has a special place in his heart for this cause as his cousin, Michelle, has Down Syndrome. As he always said, she was “his girl,” so it comes as no surprise that he also had a passion for supporting those with special needs.
Upon graduating from Slippery Rock and looking to further his passion in criminal justice, Brian attended the Allegheny County Police Training Academy. He graduated in 2014 and soon after began his first part-time job as a police officer with the East Deer Police Department. Shortly thereafter, he took on another part-time position with the Cheswick Police Department. Brian then began working for Frazer Township Police Department where he patrolled the community alongside his brother, Steffan. According to his superiors, Brian was “professional, polite, kind-hearted and respectful.” Frazer Township Police Chief Terry Kuhns stated that Brian was “particularly good with the public and especially with children at the mall. When he heard they were having a child safety program at the mall he volunteered. He was a quick learner and very passionate about his job.”
Brian was elated when he secured a full-time position as a patrolman with the New Kensington Police Department in 2017. He desired to help make the community of New Kensington a safer, more favorable place to live. Helping those in the community and interacting with children were among his favorite things to do as a police officer. As former New Kensington Police Chief Klein stated, “his passion to do his job was incredible. Brian had that commitment and dedication.”
Aside from his educational and career accomplishments, one of Brian’s proudest moments was when he closed on his first home in November of 2017. As dedicated as he was, he had extensive plans to make his first home exactly what he envisioned it to be. Unfortunately, he was unable to make his dream home a reality as his time was tragically cut short.
Anyone who knew Brian also knew that he generally loved life. He was most gratified by bringing joy and laughter to others. His contagious smile, boisterous sense of humor and his willingness to do just about anything for anyone are perhaps the main qualities that those who knew and loved him remember most. Brian’s motto was, without a doubt, living life to the fullest and making each day count — and that’s exactly what he did. We at the Officer Brian Shaw Foundation aim to keep Brian’s memory alive by encompassing the same principles of generosity and compassion that Brian demonstrated each and every day. With your support and generosity, we will be able to achieve exactly what Brian made his everyday task: to make the community a better place to live.