PA trooper cleared in the shooting of Bradford County teen
TOWANDA, PA (WENY) -- Bradford County District Attorney Albert Ondrey announced on Thursday, May 25th that the Pennsylvania State Trooper who shot a 15-year-old teen earlier this month has been cleared of any wrongdoing and that the shooting was justified. According to police, the teen was armed with a handgun and ordered to drop his weapon multiple times but refused and pointed his weapon at the officer.
"The evidence showed the juvenile pointed the gun at the trooper despite multiple commands to drop the gun,” Ondrey said. “This tragedy could have been avoided had he followed those commands,” Ondrey said in a prepared statement.
According to Ondrey troopers were dispatched on May 4th to investigate a threat of violence made on an online message board. Ondrey did not identify to whom the threat was directed. Troopers identified the teen and were informed he had left his home with a firearm and began a search.
When the teen was found, who was previously identified as Hunter Foust, Ondrey said he was seen brandishing a handgun by police. He was ordered to drop the gun, but started to flee through a wooded and marshy area before Ondrey says Foust pointed the gun at a pursuing trooper.
"Fearing for his safety, the trooper fired three shots striking the juvenile. The juvenile continued to point the gun at the trooper after the first two shots," reads the factual summary of a statement issued by Ondrey.
After the shooting Ondrey says Troopers summoned medical services and Foust was transported to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre where he later died as a result of the shooting.
WENY will continue to follow this story and update it as more information becomes available.