DA: Trooper justified shooting man with pellet gun

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

BUTLER, Pa. (AP) - The district attorney says an off-duty state trooper was justified in fatally shooting a neighbor who came to the officer's western Pennsylvania home with an air-powered pellet gun that closely resembled a pistol.

Butler County District Attorney Richard Goldinger says Tuesday he won't file criminal charges against 27-year-old Trooper Brian Knirnschild.

Knirnschild shot 25-year-old Kristopher Barkus when he pulled the gun after the trooper shouted for him to leave about 8:40 p.m. June 5.

Instead, Barkus - who had left his home threatening to jump off a bridge - put the gun to his head and the trooper fired six times, hitting Barkus twice in the torso. Barkus drove away, but died a short time later at a hospital.

Attorney Alexander Lindsay says the family disputes the findings and that the DA's conclusion relied on state police findings.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


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