Massachusetts Cop Forum banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

Subscribing Member
7,237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
SNYDERSVILLE, PA — Guns and mental illness were a dangerous combination for Robert Hagen, 75, who was shot several times by state police in his Hamilton Township home early Thursday.
Neighbors called Hagen friendly and quiet; he practiced target-shooting on his property and has a wife in a local nursing home.
Hagen was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital for surgery, but there was no further word on his condition Thursday.
Police were called to Manor Drive shortly after midnight for a report of shots fired. They talked to Hagen's roommate, whose name has not been released, and were told Hagen was recently diagnosed with dementia and displayed erratic behavior during the past few days. He may have stopped taking his medication, police said.
Hagen was in his bedroom with the door closed. Police said they could hear him calling out different names. Police knocked on the door and entered cautiously. They saw Hagen holding a shotgun, so one trooper rushed his roommate out of the house and called for a special emergency response team.
The other two troopers retreated to a safe spot and called to Hagen to drop his weapon and come out. He came out of the room but was still holding his shotgun. Police again told him to drop it, but Hagen instead pointed the gun at two of the troopers.
Police then fired 11 shots, hitting Hagen in the leg, arm, hand, head and shoulder. Hagen did not fire his weapon. He was flown to the hospital shortly after 1 a.m.
The two troopers who fired on him are William Skotleski and Todd Tolan. A third officer, Cpl. Thomas Hothouse, was also at the scene. The officers have been placed on desk duty until an investigation into the shooting is complete.
"A shooting involving police is extremely unusual. The use of deadly force is justified when officers believe they or someone else is in jeopardy," said Capt. James Murtin of the state police.
Police are checking to see if Hagen's shotgun was loaded. A handgun found in his bedroom was loaded, police said.
More guns were taken from Hagen's one-story ranch-style house later Thursday. His dogs barked from a fenced area next to the garage. A window on the front door was plastered with National Rifle Association stickers.
Manor Drive neighbors didn't hear gunshots or discover what happened until hours after the shooting.
"He had target practice in his backyard," said Agnes Farrance, who lived there 40 years. She said Hagen "seemed like a very nice gentleman."
Neighbor Lucy Tittle said Hagen has lived on Manor Drive since before she moved there 12 years ago. She was awake at 2 a.m. Thursday, looked outside and saw police and emergency vehicles at Hagen's home.
"It's a shame he's in the hospital," Tittle said. "I hope he makes it. He's a very nice guy. I remember meeting him when we first moved in. He came over and said, if we ever needed help, we could ask him. And we told him the same."
Leslie Canfield, owner of Canfield's Pet & Farm, said Hagen was a regular customer who bought dog food and joked that he seemed a bit hard of hearing.
"He seemed lonely after his wife went into the nursing home," Canfield said. "His property was like his hunting sanctuary."
1 - 1 of 1 Posts