Lehigh Valley

Forks Township police-involved shooting ruled justified

Forks Township police-involved...

EASTON, Pa. - Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli has ruled the December fatal police-involved of Scott MacIntosh, 35, justified.

On Monday, Morganelli said his office determined the Forks Township officer's decision to use, in his words, "deadly force under the circumstances as they presented themselves on December 9, 2016 when he made the decision to use his weapon was justified."

On that day in December, Forks Township Police were called to the 500 block of Apple Blossom Road in reference to a suicide attempt.

There Morganelli said MacIntosh was armed with a firearm and a machete.

A confrontation led to the shooting of MacIntosh which resulted in his death.

The Pennsylvania State Police took over the investigation and the officer who fired the shot was placed on administrative leave.

McIntosh's sister, Tammy Frasca, released a statement on behalf of the family that read in part, "We don’t think that anyone involved in the events of December 9th intended to kill our brother and uncle, but Scott’s death did not have to happen.  It was absolutely avoidable given the information provided to both 911 dispatch and the law enforcement officers at the scene.  We do not want one more family to have to endure the intense pain of preventable tragedy that we are still attempting to live with.  We are asking how we can enact change in our community and in this country, and we have questions."

Frasca said her brother had a pellet gun and she told officers he suffered from mental illness. She said those are among the reasons his death never should have happened.

Frasca said, "It was absolutely avoidable with the information given to dispatchers and the law enforcement officers at the scene."

But Morganelli said when 35-year-old Macintosh ran toward officers with this gun and a machete, it was just too dangerous.

He said, "Mr. Macintosh stated quote whoever is sent will die."

Morganelli also said, "With the knowledge that they had as of the individual they were confronting and his state of mind to wait to see if that gun was real or not, which could result in a dead police officer."

Morganelli said Macintosh did not comply with commands and was cursing at officers and may have been on prescription drugs or otherwise.

He said, "Mr. Macintosh had his machete raised and then increased his pace toward officers, as Macintosh began to raise the handgun in a direction in the opinion of the officers threatened their safety officer Rovinski fired two rounds from his rifle."

Frasca said her family supports those who put their safety on the line to protect their communities.. but has plenty of questions law enforcement on how the situation was handled.

Forks Township police are doing an internal investigation to determine Officer James Rovinski's status with the department. But they said he is expected to return to full duty in the future.




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