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Lancaster police shooting of domestic violence suspect ruled justified

Written by Rachel McDevitt, All Things Considered Host | Nov 30, 2018 1:18 PM
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(Lancaster) -- Midstate authorities are ruling a police officer was justified in shooting a domestic violence suspect.

Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said he has "nothing but praise" for the way city police officers responded to a call of a domestic disturbance in September.

Stedman said police were sent to the home on Pershing Avenue in Lancaster after a person called 911 to report children were yelling out of a second-story window that their father was going to kill their mother.

Four officers arrived on scene. Prosecutors said they could see through the home's front window that 29-year-old Ricardo Avenia was holding a woman at gunpoint.

Minutes after getting to the scene, one officer used a rifle to fire once through the window, killing Avenia.

Stedman said he is convinced the officer did the right thing.

"I am absolutely convinced that that police officer saved the life of the victim that night, and that she was within one or two seconds of her life coming to an end," Stedman said.

Police had responded to the home a number of times over the past few years for domestic disturbance calls.

The district attorney's office is not releasing the name of the officer who shot Avenia. Stedman said he is a three- to five-year veteran of the force with no disciplinary actions or complaints for use of force on his record.

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