DA: Manheim police justified in fatal shooting

A Lancaster County man shot and killed by Manheim police last month gave the officers no choice but to use lethal force, District Attorney Craig Stedman said Friday.

Stedman said 46-year-old Steven M. Brill had numerous opportunities to peacefully end an encounter with police at his Rapho Township home on the night of Aug. 12, but instead chose to escalate the situation.

He said the shooting was justified and the case is closed.

The district attorney said Brill may have purposefully intended to provoke police into
ending his life.

Brill had called 911 and said “they will never take me
alive.” He then terminated the call, but it was traced to his home in the 1400 block of Old Line Road, Stedman said.

Responding officers saw Brill waving a gun behind a vehicle in his driveway before he stated, “who am I going to shoot first?” He then went into his house, ignoring commands from the officers, Stedman said.

Brill exited the home, went back inside, then came out carrying a rifle that he pointed at an officer, Stedman said. Two officers fired their guns, and Brill died from his injuries shortly
after he arrived at Lancaster General Hospital.

Authorities said his gun was later found to be a Daisy Powerline 880 air rifle with a scope.

Stedman said Brill struggled with depression and alcohol abuse, and had expressed his desire to commit suicide to police officers on four separate incidents between Nov. 2012 and May 2013.

The police officers had Brill taken to hospitals on each occasion.


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