A 72-year-old York County man was shot and killed during a police incident in Conewago Township home early Thursday.
State Trooper Robert Hicks said officers from the Northern York County Regional Police Department had been asked to check on the welfare of Clifton Thomson when they went to the home at 475 Hykes Mill Road, just north of Strinestown, shortly after 2 a.m.
Thomson had called a crisis intervention agency in Adams County, indicated he had a gun, and was thinking about harming himself, Hicks said.
The responding officers removed Thomson's wife from the home and took her to a safe location, then tried to negotiate with Thomson while he was inside the house with a .30-30 rifle. Thomson refused to put the rifle down and fired a round at officers at close range, Hicks said.
The officers were not injured and continued to try to negotiate with Thomson, but he ran out the back door with the rifle in his hand. An officer outside ordered Thomson to put down the weapon, but he continued to advance toward the officer, according to Hicks.
The officer opened fire with a patrol rifle, striking Thomson multiple times.
“An officer never wants to have to discharge his weapon,” Hicks said. “In a situation
like that where Mr. Thomson was advancing on the officer with a
weapon, not listening to verbal commands, the officer didn't really have
a choice but to protect himself,” Hicks said.
No officers were injured and Thomson's wife was not harmed. The officers involved were put on administrative leave, which is department policy. State police are handling the investigation.
Neighbors said they were saddened and shocked by the incident, but thankful no one else was hurt.
“There could've been bullets flying through my house,” said neighbor David Apple Jr. “I have three young kids, and that's what I think about. I'm just lucky it was contained down there and what was done was done down there and that nobody else got hurt.”