DA: Man killed by police in Harrisburg had knife to mother’s throat

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A 20-year-old man shot and killed by city police was threatening to kill his mother with a knife, authorities said.

Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico said Earl Pinckney had the knife to his mother’s throat when officers entered a second-floor bedroom in the 2300 block of Green Street shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday.

Earl Pinckney
Earl Pinckney

The officers ordered Pinckney to drop the knife and he refused. At one point, the woman tried to get away, but Pinckney grabbed her and pulled her back, Marsico said.

One officer fired a single shot that struck and killed Pinckney. Officers performed CPR but could not resuscitate him.

The officer is on paid administrative leave while the district attorney’s office investigates whether the shooting was a justifiable use of deadly force. Marsico said the officer has been with the Harrisburg Bureau of Police for a year and a half and has previous experience elsewhere.

marsico_knife
District Attorney Ed Marsico, during a news conference in Harrisburg, holds a photo of the knife he says say Earl Pinckney used to threaten his mother before he was shot by police. (WHTM)

Police had responded to the home after a child called 911 and said her uncle was trying to hurt her grandmother. An adult then got on the phone and said her brother had their mother locked in a room and was threatening to kill her.

The children and other family members exited the home before officers entered the bedroom, Marsico said.

More information will be released after an autopsy on Tuesday.

Police Chief Thomas Carter said his condolences go out to the family, and he urged the public to patient and calm during the investigation. He also urged people to get all the facts before spreading misinformation on social media.

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