Coroner says shot through chest killed Pinckney, but won't disclose bullet angle

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Aug 11, 2016 3:31 PM

Photo by Ben Allen/WITF

Dauphin County Coroner Graham Hetrick.

(Harrisburg) -- The Dauphin County Coroner isn't revealing much about a police shooting that left a 20-year-old man dead in Harrisburg Sunday night.

Coroner Graham Hetrick says Earl Pinckney was killed by a single bullet shot through the front of his chest.

A Harrisburg police officer - who hasn't been named - shot and killed Pinckney while responding a 911 call Sunday night.

Coroner Graham Hetrick refused to say the angle the bullet entered Pinckney, or the distance between the officer and Pinckney when the shot was fired.

Police say he was holding a knife to his mother's neck, but she denies that was the case.

Hetrick has done an autopsy, but says he won't release information like the bullet angle because he says it can lead to speculation.

"Does that mean the person was over them and shot them or does it mean that this person moved forward, you see what I'm saying? There are a lot of reasons why the bullet angle could be a certain way," says Hetrick.

Hetrick says he's waiting on toxicology results and a full reconstruction of the second floor bedroom where Pinckey was shot.

He adds: "We got everything we're going to need to reconstruct, so now let us get all the data back in and then we'll do that. And then we can have the talk on what really happened because we will have tested all the different hypotheses."

Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico is investigating whether the officer who shot Pinckney committed a crime.

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