Lebanon

DA: Trooper justified in fatally shooting man with knife

LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) - A state police trooper was justified in using deadly force when he shot and killed a man who came at him with an 8-inch knife during a foot chase last year, Lebanon County District Attorney David Arnold said.

Arnold and state police on Wednesday released their findings into the fatal shooting of Mitchell Hammer in East Hanover Township. 

"The trooper's action in employing deadly force was lawful and justified," Arnold said at a news conference. "Quite frankly, his quick and his proper response may well have saved his own life and potentially the lives of his fellow troopers."

Hammer, 27, of Annville, was wanted aggravated assault, terroristic threats, and reckless endangerment charges regarding a domestic incident when troopers went to his workplace with an arrest warrant on December 18.

Hammer fled from the troopers and ran into a heavily wooded area. The chase went on for about one to two miles and ended when Hammer confronted one of the troopers with the knife and refused repeated orders to stop.

The trooper slipped and fell to his back, then fired his handgun and struck Hammer.

Police tried to revive Hammer and carried him through the woods to a state police helicopter that was used in the search. He was flown to a hospital where he died. 

Toxicology reports found evidence of methamphetamine and other substances, investigators said.

No troopers were injured.


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