SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) – Mercer County District Attorney Miles Karson Jr. said no charges will be filed against an officer who shot and killed a 23-year-old suspect in Sharon.
Karson said an investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police found that the shooting was justified. He made the announcement in a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
Although Sean Hake’s family would not speak with reporters after the press conference, the family’s attorney said Hake should not have been shot.
“They do not believe it was warranted in any manner or form. That’s their position,” Attorney Frank Moore said.
Karson said Hake would not comply with commands, however, and posed a real danger to officers.
“This was a life-or-death circumstance right from the very beginning.”
The situation began when Hake’s mother called 911 on January 6, reporting that she was being threatened.
She told emergency dispatchers that Hake put a razor blade to her throat. There were other weapons, including guns, in the home on Tamplin Street.
Karson said officers who responded saw Hake sitting in the driver’s seat of a car with a knife in his hand, bleeding from his wrist. He said Hake then got out of the car and quickly moved toward the officer, not obeying commands to drop the knife and get on the ground.
Three officers tried to get Hake to comply, Karson said, but Hake said they were going to have to kill him or he would kill the officers.
Hake approached one of the officers with a knife and one of the officers shot him three times before he stopped, according to Karson. Hake was shot in the torso.
Karson said the officers had tasers but didn’t use them due to the circumstances of the situation.
Moore said he doesn’t believe the officers’ version of events.
“They saw the body. They didn’t see the wounds they speak of that would have yielded so much blood out of the car, so there’s an issue with whether the shooting started while the decedent was still in the car,” he said.
After Hake fell to the ground, one of the officers disarmed Hake and gave him first aid and CPR before an ambulance arrived. He was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Karson said Hake also had self-inflicted cuts on his wrists and throat from a knife.
The three officers involved were placed on administrative leave during the investigation. Karson said he will not name the officers involved.
Although autopsy and toxicology results haven’t yet been released, Karson said that won’t change the results of his investigation.