Bucks County DA rules Falls police-involved shooting justified. Few details of shooting released
The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office has ruled a Falls officer was justified in shooting and injuring a suspect who pointed what appeared to be a handgun twice.
The DA’s office released its report Tuesday in the March 28 incident that left an unidentified 20-year-old Bucks County man seriously injured. He remains hospitalized.
Authorities did not identify the shooting victim, but said he would be charged “at a later time” with felony fleeing and attempting to elude police.
More Falls police news Did Falls supervisors violate Sunshine law when they privately fired police officer?
In a letter to Falls Township Police Chief Nelson Whitney, First Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Schorn wrote an investigation found the officers were reasonable in their belief their lives were in “clear and present danger.”
Falls police officers, who were not identified, attempted a routine traffic stop just after midnight on March 28 on Lincoln Highway near Oak Lane. During the stop, the suspect allegedly pointed what turned out to be a C02 air gun made to look like a Glock handgun at the officers, according to the DA’s office.
“An advertisement for the air gun touts it as ‘compact and handy with the unmistakable look of the original pistol and plenty of power,’ " Schorn said.
The suspect then drove off with police in pursuit, which ended on New Ford Mill Road by Steele Road, Falls police said.
The press release the DA’s office issued did not provide any details for the traffic stop or why the suspect drove off. It also did not provide any information about the events leading up to the shooting.
After the shooting, police rendered aid on the man, who was taken to a hospital where he underwent surgery. Both officers were not injured and placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation.
Additionally, both officers acted within the permissible scope of Falls Township Police use-of-force requirements, and the use-of-force best practices guidelines adopted by all Bucks County Police Departments in November 2020, according to the DA’s office.
More police shootings A look at Bucks County police involved shootings since 2009
The shooting is the second in two years involving a Fall police officer.
In 2021, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office found that a fatal police-involved shooting of a 48-year-old man armed with a knife was justified. The shooting occurred after officers responded to a home for a domestic disturbance.
Since 2009, there have been at least 15 other police-involved shootings in Bucks County, according to a review of news stories. After investigations, the District Attorney’s Office ruled all but one were justified.
The lone exception was a March 2019 shooting by a since retired New Hope police officer whose shooting was found as not justified, but excused, after he confused his service weapon with his Taser, seriously injuring a suspect in police custody.
What we know about Falls shooting Falls, Bucks County DA release little information on officer-involved shooting
This article originally appeared on Bucks County Courier Times: Police-involved shooting in Falls deemed justified by Bucks County DA