READING, Pa. (CBS) — A Reading police officer who fatally shot a man while responding to a domestic dispute last month will not be charged.
Berks County District Attorney John Adams called the officer’s actions justified during a press conference Wednesday.
Adams said the man shot in Reading by police – 62-year-old Michael Stoudt – pointed a gun at his neighbors and then police. That’s what ultimately forced officers to shoot Stoudt on the front steps of his home over a week ago along the 1200 block of Spruce Street.
“It is very unfortunate that a life was lost, but we commend the actions of the officer involved,” said Adams.
Adams said Stoudt had pointed a sawed-off shotgun at a neighbor and his family while they were having a barbecue in their backyard.
“I never had a problem with the man,” said Arturo Segarra.
Segarra added, “I was very scared because I had my nieces and nephews inside.”
He’s still confused why his neighbor decided to point the gun at anyone, especially with children around.
However, police say Stoudt probably wasn’t in the best state of mind.
“His blood alcohol level was .306, which was almost four times the legal limit,” said Adams.
The 62-year-old was killed when officers arrived to the scene and pointed the gun at them.
The gun wasn’t loaded but Stoudt’s own daughter believes officers did what they had to do. She asked authorities to read a statement.
“He was a troubled man, he was a hard man, but he wasn’t a bad man,” Adams read in the statement. “I’m sorry for the children that were scared. I’m sorry for the officer that had to take a life.”
Adams said it is really important for authorities to be extremely transparent when it comes to any officer-involved shooting.
It’s why he held a news conference and spent an hour detailing how his office determined the shooting was justified.