Lebanon County DA Dave Arnold announced today that his office had found state troopers were justified in the mid-December shooting of Mitchell James Hammer.

Hammer died December 18, 2018 at the Hershey Medical Center from fatal gunshot wounds incurred while fleeing state police outside Grantville.

“The trooper did not provoke the actions of the suspect nor could he have avoided using deadly force with complete safety for himself and or potentially the other troopers involved in the chase,” said Arnold, according to Fox43’s coverage from the press conference. Watch their full report below.

According to a report by the Daily News, Arnold said at the press conference today that Hammer was a known methamphetamine user and that a pathology report confirmed that he was under the influence of crystal meth at the time of the incident.

Pennsylvania State Police concluded their end of the investigation in late December.

According to the PSP investigation, Hammer was told numerous times to stop during a foot chase before he reversed course and came back around a bend while brandishing an 8″ bladed knife, the trooper “slipped and fell to his back at which time he fired his department issued handgun, striking Hammer.”


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