DA: Lititz police officer justified in fatal shooting - abc27 WHTM

DA: Lititz police officer justified in fatal shooting

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David Giliberti David Giliberti

Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman says a Lititz police officer was justified in using deadly force when he shot and killed a man who came at him with a knife last year.

Stedman said Tuesday that Officer Joel Hartz risked personal injury or death if he had not fatally shot 22-year-old David Giliberti.

Hartz responded to Giliberti's grandmother's home in the 100 block of Arrowhead Drive during the early hours of Dec. 21 because the grandmother had told 911 operators that Giliberti was "freaking out," Stedman said.

Giliberti threatened to kill Hartz, then attacked him and tried to grab his gun. Hartz used a Taser three times, but it seemed to have no effect on Giliberti, who grabbed a large knife from the kitchen and charged Hartz before he was shot twice in the chest, Stedman said.

Hartz told investigators that Giliberti seemed unphased by the initial shots and was "almost smiling" at him. Giliberti went after Hartz two more times and was shot in the chest four more times before he died.

"I'm not sure what else he could have done," Stedman said at a news conference. "In fact, he went above and beyond. The multiple struggles he's in with a guy less than half his age - he used great restraint."

Giliberti had a history of mental illness, and an autopsy indicated he had not been taking his medication. Police had been called to the home three times last year because Giliberti was acting strange.

Hartz remains on administrative leave. It is unclear whether he will return to the police force.

The officer-involved shooting was the first in the history of the Lititz Police Department.


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