Pa. DA: Fatal shooting justified, but mistakes were made

The district attorney said the man went after an officer with a fire poker, putting the officer in danger, but there was no communication

By Jon Meyer

OVERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. — In Wyoming County, the district attorney ruled Monday that a police officer who shot and killed a man last fall was justified.

The district attorney said the man went after the officer with a fire poker, putting the officer in danger. But the D.A. does say police mistakes were made.

The Wyoming County district attorney Jeffrey Mitchell now says police officers forced their way into this home in the Lake Winola area last November, trying to pick up a man wanted for mental health reasons for threatening to kill his wife.

Numerous officers from several departments were helping Overfield Township police on the scene. The D.A. says two of the officers broke down a bedroom door, fell to the floor, and that’s when Brian Williams went after them with a fire poker.

First officers shot Williams with Tasers, when that didn’t stop him, Officer Mark Papi of Tunkhannock Township police shot and killed Williams.

Overfield police were the first on the scene, but the D.A. plans to talk with other departments involved too. He says the mistakes include no officer in charge of the scene, and a lack of communications.

The D.A. went on to say quote: “This office expresses its condolences to the Williams family for their tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. While there was no criminal intent to kill, mistakes were made. In the hope that this tragedy will not be repeated, this office will be meeting with the police departments involved.”

The district attorney says the officer Mark Papi shot Brian Williams in self-defense.

Because of that, Officer Papi will not be prosecuted in this case.

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