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Troopers shoot and kill man who fired at them in Mercer County

Published: Fri, March 27, 2009 @ 8:55 p.m.

MERCER, Pa. — A man was killed and a Pennsylvania State Police trooper was wounded in a shootout around noon today in Delaware Township in Mercer County.

According to state police, two troopers went to 805 River Road to assist mental health professionals who had asked for assistance in making contact with Walter J. McGarvey Jr., 45.

Troopers found McGarvey, who failed to respond to requests of the authorities. .

Troopers used a Taser — a weapon that uses electrical current to disrupt the control of a person’s muscles — several times, but McGarvey continued to “act unruly,” according to a state police release.

McGarvey pulled out a pistol and fired at the troopers, who returned fire.

McGarvey was pronounced dead at the scene. One trooper was shot in the hand and was treated at Greenville Hospital.


1Stan(9923 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

A sad ending for a troubled soul.It is too bad that they didn't have him medicated before it came to this.

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2wisewon(1 comment)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

You have to wonder, after using the taser "several times" did the officers have to consider "I will be accused of abuse if I 'hit him again'". Amnesty International, the ACLU and a liberal press have officers second guessing themselves and people are getting shot. There is blood on Amnesty International's hands. Please do not support this terrorist like organization.

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3yguins4(18 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

wisewon, You are so far off on this one. It does not sound to me at all like they second guessed themselves. It sounds like the followed their training and tried to use the tasers to gain control of the situation and when that did no work and their life was in danger the acted WITHOUT hesitation and returned fire. We are lucky the trooper only got hit in the hand and was not killed.

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4Heard_it_all_before(62 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

No cop wants to use deadly force. It is a last resort after all else has failed. The ACLU, et al will always press their extreme liberal agenda and no act by police is ever going to be justified. I wonder if an ACLU lawyer would want another lawyer as back-up if an armed subject was shooting at them, trying to end their life. Or would they want a street cop who will lay down his own life to protect others - even ACLU lawyers!?! It is easy to intellectualize such an incident when one has the luxury of doing so while not being riddled with hostile gunfire. Many do not understand how quickly and how violently an incident can escalate into a situation where a fatality occurs. Police officers are highly trained in the use of force continuum and must have split second reactions to whatever a subject does if they are to survive an armed encounter.

It is fortunate that the Troopers were the ones who were able to handle this. Many times it is one or two mental health workers or case managers who do not have the training and equipment to defend themselves agains a lethal attack by a chronically mental ill client who suddenly becones violent. They usually have no cops on scene with them and they routinely deal with some potentially dangerous people. All indications point to professionalism and restraint on the part of the Troopers. It is unfortunate that someone had to die, but my thoughts and prayers are with those officers and their families as they collectively deal with the internal investigation, media coverage, lawsuits, injuries and emotional trauma that will result from this incident. They did what they had to do - what they were trained to do - and their selfless bravery should not be overlooked in all the turmoil.

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5cambridge(4151 comments)posted 7 years, 4 months ago

I live in the SF Bay Area and we just lost four Oakland Police officers in one incident last week. Two motorcycle officers pulled over an ex con out of prison less tan a year from a parole violation and under investigation in a murder. He shot both cops with a pistol and walked up on them and shot both again while they were on the ground. He than hid around the block at his sisters apartment. When the swat team entered he killed two more with a AK-47 and was killed. Since the killing his DNA turned up in the rape of a 12 year old girl.

A memorial service was held at the Oakland Coliseum with more tan 20,000 people. It was heartbreaking. I feel bad for Mr. McGarvey because it seems as though he was having mental problems. It is also sad that these officers were placed in this position but they deserve our support. I'm sure they did everything they could to help this man and feel bad about the outcome but if they didn't act as they did the outcome could have been much worse.

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