AVELLA (KDKA) – The Washington County district attorney has determined that a police-involved shooting in Washington County last week was justified.

On Dec. 7, police were called to a home on Bethel Ridge Road in Avella for a domestic dispute.

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When state police arrived, they heard several shots. Police say Steven Ward then walked toward the troopers carrying a large, Bowie-style knife.

(Photo Courtesy of Washington County District Attorney's Office)

(Photo Courtesy of Washington County District Attorney’s Office)

Troopers say Ward refused to drop the weapon, and they fired shots. Ward was shot once in the arm and once in his side, according to his father. He is still recovering in the hospital.

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District Attorney Eugene A. Vittone says the troopers’ actions were necessary to protect police and the community.

“It is my determination that the response and actions taken by all of the troopers involved were absolutely and unequivocally justified under the circumstances,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, state police have filed criminal charges against Ward. The most serious of which are felony charges of aggravated assault.

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