A Pennsylvania prosecutor said Tuesday that police officers were justified in fatally shooting a teenager who pointed a gun at them after a homeowner called 911 to report her security cameras had detected an intruder in house.
Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams told reporters that 17-year-old Darron Shaw "presented a clear and imminent threat to the officers’ lives by pointing a gun directly at them" as he emerged from the rear of the home shortly after midnight on Aug. 6.
Officers were dispatched after the resident who was away called 911 and said her security cameras showed someone entering her home's back door. She said she had called her 14-year-old son, who was home alone, and told him to go out onto the roof to wait for police to arrive.
Adams said surveillance video shows the masked intruder breaking a window and entering the home, disabling a back door camera as he did so, and moving through the kitchen. She said she did not know Shaw's motive in entering the home. Police bodycam video showed him exiting the home with the weapon in his right hand.
Adams said the gun was pointed in the direction of one officer and was then turned in the general direction of two other officers. She said two offices fired after the suspect didn't respond to an order to raise his hands. Adams said officers fired a total of nine pistol and rifle rounds, hitting Shaw four or five times, and he ran, jumped a fence and collapsed about 100 feet away. He was given aid and then taken to Lancaster General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The semiautomatic 9mm handgun and extended magazine Shaw had was recovered from the inside of the fence and proved to be a "ghost gun," a term used for firearms that do not have serial numbers and can be assembled from kits ordered online, Adams said. She said it did not appear Shaw had fired the gun but it has been sent to state police for analysis.