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Officer Cleared After Fatal Shooting Of Son In Lansdale

LANSDALE, Pa. (AP) — Authorities in suburban Philadelphia say a police officer was justified in fatally shooting his 17-year-old son after the troubled youth attacked him with a hunting knife.

The Montgomery County district attorney issued a statement Friday saying no action would be taken against Hatfield police Lt. Eric Schmitz.

The shooting occurred at the Schmitz home in Towamencin Township on June 8. A day earlier, Schmitz’s son had been released from a treatment facility following a suicide attempt.

District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman says the teenager cornered his father in the laundry room and started an argument. He then began swinging a 10-inch-long hunting knife at Schmitz, who Ferman says fired twice in self-defense.

The statement says the teen had been on medication for mental health issues.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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  • Zzbar

    Do you carry your weapon around with you while walking in your house with jockey shorts on. (macho) There are other ways of talking down a man with a knife besides shooting him. Oh, I guess the kids meds were not working that day.

  • Joseph Harrington

    When fighting in close quarters, kick the attacker in the shins super hard and then take off running for cover or else just keep hitting on :pressure points until the attacker backs off This should give You a way out of It.. I would watch some professionally made “Street Safe” videos on the subject. The techniques really work.

  • Joseph Harrington

    John, I very much appreciate Your civility and I am sure that You probably know a little bit more about the details of this situation but I would have to disagree with You about how someone could have reacted in this situation. Is this a (fight or flight) situation? I have myself been in this situation in my home in the past, when one of my old friends went after me with a similar kitchen knife. I did not have a weapon available so I simply retreated to a place where I could close a door between myself and my attacker. I did’nt want to say retreat in my first post because It may seem cowardly to some people, but retreating to a secure room is probably anyone’s best option. If that kid was my son I think that I would have thought twice about doing him in. My family means everything in the world to me.

  • John

    Joe, i respectfully must disagree. If someone is thereatnig and lunging at you with a 10″ knife there is zero time to react. Im sure this guy did not want to kill his son and probably will agonize over it everyday. I am tired of hearing how police should handle themselves when faced with these situations. They are trained but in the end they are human. They experience the same adrenaline rush we would feel if placed in that position.

  • Joseph Harrington

    I am just wondering if they issue Tasers to these officers. Why not just try to hit him in some non vital part of his body or trip the agresser fight him with Your hands and then call for help. It just seems to me to be a senseless killing. I think that I would have knocked him off balance and then sat on him or something.

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