Law-enforcement officers trying to arrest a convenience-store robbery suspect fatally shot him after he tried to run them over with his car, authorities said.
State police from the Mercer barracks released a brief statement Wednesday about the Tuesday night shooting of 30-year-old Jeffrey Alan Anderson in Greenville.
According to the statement, officers with the Mercer County Critical Incident Response Team went to Anderson’s residence with an arrest warrant and a search warrant at about 7:45 p.m.
During the raid, “Anderson failed to obey police commands and attempted at one point to back over officers with his car,” the state police news release said. “This prompted officers to fire their weapons at Anderson. Anderson was struck by at least one round and fatally wounded.”
Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook, whose office investigates deaths for some smaller northwestern Pennsylvania counties, said an autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday, but it wasn’t immediately clear when the results would be released.
State police in Mercer were investigating the shooting but didn’t say which law-enforcement agencies were involved. Mercer County Chief Deputy Sheriff Gary Hartman heads the CIRT team and told The Associated Press he couldn’t comment while the state police were investigating.
The CIRT team consists of sheriff’s deputies and officers from six police departments: Grove City, Hempfield Township, Hermitage, Sharon, South Pymatuning and the Southwest Regional Mercer County Police Department, which serves Farrell and nearby Shenango Township. It was not immediately clear whether officers for all of those departments were present Tuesday, or which ones fired shots at Anderson.
Online court records show Anderson has an extensive criminal history, with arrests and convictions dating to 1999 for crimes including aggravated assault and theft.
Southwest Regional Mercer police on Tuesday filed charges of robbery and illegal firearms possession against Anderson, who had been on probation from a 2006 aggravated assault conviction for which he was also sentenced to up to 41/2 years in state prison, according to court records.
Southwest Regional Chief Riley Smoot said Anderson was suspected in two armed convenience-store robberies on Saturday and had been charged in one, a heist at McQuaids on New Castle Road in Farrell. The other robbery was at a Circle K store in West Middlesex, about five miles away, Smoot said.
There were at least two people involved in the Circle K robbery, Smoot said. He said Wednesday no other warrants were pending.
It is common for district attorneys to review officer-involved shootings. Mercer County District Attorney Robert Kochems was at the scene Tuesday, but did not immediately return a call to comment Wednesday.