Reading officer justified in shooting man after reported threat

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 8, 2017 1:00 PM

(Reading) -- The Berks County district attorney says a police officer was justified in using deadly force on an armed man after a report of threats at a neighbor's backyard barbecue.

District Attorney John Adams announced his decision today in the February 24th shooting death of 62-year-old Michael Stoudt in Reading.

Neighbors said Stoudt had pointed a rifle over his backyard fence at the group, which included a half-dozen children, because he was upset about someone smoking on the property.

Officers said they found him on his porch with a shotgun, and he refused to drop the weapon and instead pointed it in their direction, after which an officer fired several times.

District Attorney John Adams called the officer's actions a reasonable act of self-defense and the defense of others.

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