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RENFREW, Pa. (KDKA) — State police say troopers shot a suspect armed with a rifle during a standoff situation Tuesday afternoon in Butler County.
Law enforcement was called to the scene on Nursery Road at the intersection with Reibold Road in Forward Township, near Renfrew, just before noon.
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State police said the incident initially came in as a mental health call. The tactical team was then called in because, police say, the man was armed and a threat to himself, neighbors and law enforcement. State police tried to talk to the man on the phone, but they said he wasn’t cooperating.
State police say, at one point, the suspect lifted his rifle and that’s when troopers fired shots.
“Troopers pulled into the driveway, at that point the individual, he was armed with a rifle, as the troopers entered the driveway, he lifted the rifle, pointed it in the direction of the troopers, took aim at the responding troopers. At that point, a trooper responded by firing at the individual,” said Tpr. Dan Kesten, of the State Police Barracks in Butler. “The individual was struck, he was then airlifted to a hospital in Pittsburgh.”
The suspect was flown by medical helicopter to a Pittsburgh hospital for treatment, where he later died. He has been identified as 73-year-old Walter Wiemann.
But neighbors say he has had issues before.
Neighbor Jason Leslie said the man is in his 70s and lives at the home with his wife. It’s unclear where she was at the time of the standoff.
“This summer, there was a little bit of an issue where he was kind of hiding for whatever reason, got disturbed,” said Leslie. “You feel bad for the family. I hope he’s okay.”
Police don’t know what sparked the standoff. They were at the scene for hours gathering evidence.