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Shooting by cop in Abington 'justified'

The Patriot Ledger

ABINGTON - The district attorney's office says an Abington police officer was justified in shooting a 40-year-old man who was threatening officers with a knife.

The shooting occurred early Saturday morning and the wounded man, Daniel McCarthy of Abington, was hospitalized at Brockton Hospital through yesterday. The hospital said today it did not have a patient with that name.

McCarthy, who had been reported missing at Taunton State Hospital, was shot once in the chest as he wielded a knife and threatened to kill three police officers.

''During the course of our investigation, we found the shooting to be justified and in self-defense,'' Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said yesterday. ''The officer neutralized the public safety threat to the public and to the police.''

Cruz said that State Police investigators assigned to his office stepped in to interview people and examine the details of the case soon after the shooting occurred.

McCarthy had been reported missing last week from the state hospital in Taunton where he was reportedly undergoing treatment, authorities said.

Police responded to Summer Street early Saturday morning following reports that a person was ''out of control,'' Police Chief David Majenski said.

Based on the caller's description, police said they were able to positively identify the man.

Upon arrival, police spotted him in a vehicle driven by a person whom police did not identify at the corner of Plymouth and Summer streets, Majenski said.

As officers approached the car, they saw the suspect sitting in the passenger's seat and ''discreetly'' opening a folding knife, Majenski said.

When one police officer yelled ''knife'' to alert the other officers, McCarthy jumped out of the vehicle and pointed the weapon at police, Majenski said.

Majenski said the suspect repeatedly told the three officers, '''You're going to have to kill me,''' and '''I'm going to kill you.'''

The officers yelled at him to put the knife down as he ran toward a house at 880 Plymouth St., Majenski said.

The officers chased after McCarthy and stopped about 20 feet from him.

He turned and held the knife at chest level and again threatened to kill the officers, Majenski said.

As the officers readied their pepper spray to try and stop the man, he charged at one of the officers, brandishing the knife, Majenski said

When McCarthy was about 10 feet away, the officer fired one shot into his upper chest, Majenski said

McCarthy dropped the knife and collapsed about 20 seconds later, Majenski said.

The officers retrieved the knife and administered first aid on the suspect, put pressure on the wound and called for an ambulance, Majenski said.

McCarthy was taken to Brockton Hospital.

Abington police charged him with three counts each of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and threatening to commit murder, Majenski said.

Majenski declined to release the name of the police officer who shot McCarthy.

He said the officer wasn't suspended or put on leave after the shooting, but is undergoing counseling.

He called the shooting a ''tragic event for the family and for the officers.''

''We never want to use our weapons. I'm proud the officers showed great restraint ... and that they saved his life,'' Majenski said. ''The shooting was justified.''

''There aren't many shootings in Abington's history,'' he continued. ''They do happen in the towns and cities around us; we're not immune.''

''It's certainly a wake-up call for the town,'' Majenski said.

Cruz said that the State Police assigned to the Plymouth County district attorney's office often step in to investigate non-fatal police shootings at the request of police chiefs. Having the state investigate the matter can avoid a potential conflict of interest, he said.

68 Posts
I can hear it now.....why didn't they peper spray him? why didn't they shoot the knife out of his hand? He was emotionaly disturbed, they didn't have to shoot him, he was turning his life around..... :up_yours:

Retired Fed, Active Special
8,887 Posts

He was receiving "services" from DMH. Maybe the DMH cops should be armed eh?
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