A Harrisburg man allegedly armed with a machete and high on drugs was shot and killed Monday afternoon during a standoff with police.
Ishmael Muhammad, 29, threatened to kill two hostages, a two-year-old child and a 26-year-old wheelchair-bound man with mental disabilities after the standoff began around 12:30 p.m., according to police.
According to two sources involved in the investigation, Muhammad allegedly was "smoking wet," or high on the drug PCP.
During the standoff, Muhammad broke a third-story window, threw items at police, and threatened to "chop heads off" when members of the crisis response team attempted to enter the Evergreen Street apartment, police said.
CERT team officers shut down the 100 block of Evergreen to Derry Street near 13th Street in the Allison Hill area. Authorities said CERT members attempted to end the standoff peacefully, but when Muhammad threatened to kill his hostages, a CERT team officer entered the home and shot Muhammad twice in the chest.
District Attorney Ed Marsico held a press conference at the Dauphin County courthouse late Monday afternoon and said the CERT officer is a member of the Harrisburg Bureau of Police, and has been placed on leave pending the outcome of a full investigation. Marsico said preliminarily, however, it appears the officer exhibited appropriate use of force.
Marsico would not comment on the relationship between Muhammad and his hostages. He said Muhammad was "under the influence," but deferred to wait for a toxicology report for further comment.
CERT leader Susquehanna Township Police Chief Rob Martin said Monday's incident was the first time his officers had to use deadly force in the 21-history of the team.
"There's some very violent folks out there, and we try to do our best --- but at the end of the day, the situation in both cases arose," he said.
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