BUTLER TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A man is dead and a state police investigation is underway after a shooting involving an off-duty trooper in Butler County.
Now the family of the man who was killed is mourning their son and brother.
For Bob Barkus, the reality of not only losing his 25-year-old son, but also how he died is a burden that today weighs heavily on his heart.
“We miss him tremendously already,” Barkus said. “He was a great musician, athlete and sometimes comic, and he’s a good man.”
State police say it was before 9 p.m. Friday that Barkus’ son, Kristopher Barkus, walked to a home on September Lane in Butler Township.
According to our news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Butler County property records identify the homeowner as Brian J. Knirnschild.
According to police, the state trooper from the Butler barracks was off duty inside his home with his wife and children when Barkus came over uninvited.
When the trooper opened the door, things turned violent.
“The trooper spoke to Barkus, and Barkus then brandished a firearm,” Trooper Dan Kesten said. “At that time, the trooper stopped Barkus’ action by discharging his firearm.”
The bullet hit Kristopher in the stomach.
On Saturday, Barkus’ family didn’t want to go into too many specifics, but said it was allegedly an airsoft gun that their son had, and that he’d gone to the trooper’s home for help.
The Barkus family says Kristopher’s brother tried to get him to leave the property before the trooper fired his gun.
The family also says Kristopher was driven to Butler Hospital by his brother before he was airlifted to Allegheny General Hospital where they got the gut-wrenching news that their son had passed.
The trooper, per protocol, is on administrative leave right now.