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Family: police shooting victim 'chose poorly' - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County

Family: police shooting victim 'chose poorly'

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Skyler Stewart Skyler Stewart
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

The family of the man who was shot and killed by police in Lower Paxton Township on Friday evening has said he was a "kind, talented, handsome, hardworking 20 year old ...[who] chose poorly in his decision to run."

Police said Skyler Stewart was shot and killed by officers after he shot Harrisburg police dog, Zeke.

"The events that led up to Friday's senseless tragedy began with Skyler attempting to protect his mother from being assaulted by another man," his family said in a statement. "We are heartbroken ... and would like the public to know that the story as reported does not fairly portray the person Skyler was. He made a fatal error in judgement, but he was a kind and loving soul."

Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico is investigating the shooting and said police were serving a search warrant at Stewart's home when he took off on foot. Police were looking for a knife they believed to be involved in a fight in which Stewart allegedly stabbed his mother's boyfriend.

After he took off, Marsico said Harrisburg's K-9 unit was brought in to track him. That's when police say Stewart opened fire and struck K-9 Officer Zeke in the neck. 

Stewart was then shot three times. He died a short time later.

Marsico said the officer involved in the shooting was place on desk duty pending a completion of the investigation.

"It appears very preliminarily that the officer's actions were justified," Marsico said.

Stewart's family said they believe he shot the dog in an effort to fend it off of him.

"We also believe that he was likely dazed and confused when he failed to heed police orders," the statement said. "We are sympathetic to the concerns for the K9 and are glad he will recover."

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