Pennsylvania Officer Receives Back-Up from Armed Citizen

( – A Pennsylvania man with a “valid concealed-carry permit” came to the aid of a Farrell police officer during an officer-involved shootout last Friday outside of a convenience store, according to Mercer County District Attorney Peter Acker.

Detectives from the district attorney’s office and state police continue to investigate the shooting which occurred at around 12:30 a.m. on May 24 at the Lux convenience store on Indiana Avenue.

District Attorney Acker said the incident began when a police officer encountered a 49-year-old white male carrying a weapon. When the officer ordered the man to drop his weapon, the suspect opened fire, prompting the officer to return fire.

Acker said the armed bystander was nearby when he heard the gunshots and went to offer assistance to the police officer. He too fired on the suspect.

The suspect was wounded in the shootout but still refused to drop his weapon.

According to the District Attorney, it was the armed bystander who fired the shot that injured the suspect.

A Mercer County Critical Incident Response Team was called in and they disarmed the suspect. He was taken to a nearby hospital and later transported to Mercy Health St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown where he was treated for life-threatening injuries, Acker said.

In total, the three men fired over 40 rounds. Additionally, the police officer fired another dozen or so bean bag rounds during the incident.

Acker told reporters that in an instance when police encounter someone with a gun who is “willing to use it,” it is necessary “to exercise great caution.” He said both the Farrell police officer and the armed civilian did just that.

The shootout occurred just before a shooting nearby at a home on Hamilton Avenue. Officers responding to the shootout at the convenience store heard the gunshots and responded to the home.

However, the two incidents were unrelated, according to the district attorney.

Acker said the incident on Hamilton Avenue appeared to be a drug-related drive-by shooting.

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