Pennsylvania State Police have issued a new release regarding Tuesday’s fatal shooting of Mitchell James Hammer, adding new light to the circumstances surrounding his death.
According to the release, Hammer was told numerous times to stop during the foot chase as he was attempting to flee along Raccoon (Coon) Creek. The release states that when Hammer reversed course and came back around a bend while brandishing an 8″ bladed knife, the trooper “slipped and fell to his back at which time he fired his department issued handgun, striking Hammer.”
An earlier release indicated that a joint investigation was being made into the fatal shooting with the Pennsylvania State Police and the Lebanon County District Attorney’s Office.
It is not clear if the most recent release represents a finding from that joint investigation, or if that investigation process is separate and ongoing.
Updated 3:15pm: District Attorney Dave Arnold’s office confirmed that the statement quoted above comes directly from the Pennsylvania State Police and does not represent a finding of the joint investigation. The joint investigation is ongoing and an ultimate report will not be issued for a few weeks, as documents such as the final autopsy report are still pending.
Update 12/22 7:00am: Master Trooper David Beohm of the Jonestown Barracks said in response to our question about investigation status, “Our investigation is complete. The results of the investigation will be sent to DA Arnold.”