SHARON, Pa. (KDKA/AP) — With several of the shooting victim’s relatives present at the Mercer County Courthouse, the District Attorney announced the findings of his investigation at a Tuesday news conference into the fatal police shooting of a transgender suspect.
Mercer County District Attorney Miles Karson Jr. says his staff was briefed last week by state troopers who investigated the shooting of Sean Marie Hake by Sharon police on Jan. 6.
The 23-year-old suspect was born female but identified as male and used the name Sean Ryan Hake at the time of the shooting near his Tamplin Street home.
“The shooting by a Sharon Police officer of Sean Hake was justified based upon the circumstances of their encounter,” Karson said. “Therefore, no charges will be filed against the officer.”
Investigators say Hake first threatened to put a razor blade to his mother’s throat, and then repeatedly refused police orders to put down a utility knife he was holding after he got out of his car. Police said blood was dripping from his wrist.
“Hake stated that you are going to have to kill me, or I’m going to have to kill you,” Karson said.
As the suspect continued to move toward one of the officers with the knife, the DA said he was shot multiple times by one of three Sharon police officers at the scene.
According to Karson, “Officer 3 shot Hake twice. The suspect continued to advance with the knife. The officer fired a third shot, which stopped Hake.”
None of the officers involved was identified. They’re still off the job, on administrative leave.
Outside the courthouse, Hake’s relatives had no immediate comment on the DA’s announcement, but a lawyer spoke on their behalf.
Hake family attorney Frank Moore said, “The Hake family does not believe it [deadly force] was warranted in any manor or form. That’s their position.”
Asked about a lawsuit, Moore said it was too soon to say if that would happen.
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