York County District Attorney Tom Kearney released a statement Thursday saying that Northern York County Regional Police officers were justified in the shooting death of Clifton Thomson of Conewago Township on Feb. 21.
Thomson had barricaded himself inside his home in the 400 block of Hykes Mill Road and told someone with Adams/Hanover Crisis Intervention that he was going to shoot himself and was armed with a gun, Kearney said.
Officers made contact with Thomson's wife, who was home at the time but not aware of the situation, police said at the time.
Northern Regional officers spoke with Thomson in his home and tried to get him to lower his weapon, but he refused and instead fired one round at the officers from a distance of about 10 feet, Kearney said in his report. Thomson missed the officers and they continued negotiating.
Thomson later left his home through a kitchen door and walked toward officers who were standing around the home, Kearney said. The officers told Thomson to drop his gun, but he instead shouldered his rifle and pointed it directly at officers who responded by firing four rounds, Kearney said.
Thomson was killed on scene. No officers were injured.
"My understanding is that the final results of the investigation will be provided to this office upon its completion and will include the results of forensic testing," Kearney wrote in the report to Northern Regional Police Chief Mark Bentzel. "However, at this point, you are authorized to return the officers involved to duty upon determination of psychological fitness."
Kearney went on to say in his conclusion that it was clear the officers were in imminent danger of serious injury or death at the time that they fired at Thomson.
"Mr. Thomson's actions were designed to draw the response of deadly force by the officers," Kearney wrote.
He said that no criminal action or professional misconduct charges are necessary in this case.
The cause of death was determined to be gunshot wounds. The manner of Thomson's death is determined to be justifiable homicide.
Copyright 2013 - York Daily Record, Pa.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service