Female police officer faces murder charges for shooting and killing unarmed suspect

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DAUPHIN COUNTY, PA – Officer Lisa Mearkle turned herself in to state police to face a charge of criminal homicide in the killing of David Kassick. She’s a 14-year veteran of the Hummelstown Police Department.

“Officer Mearkle, by all accounts, has been a distinguished member of the Hummelstown police department so this is certainly a tragedy all around. said Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico.

A tragic ending for Kassick, who was 59. Mearkle tried to pull Kassick over for an expired inspection sticker on February 2nd. He took off and she chased him to his home in south Hanover Township. She shot him with a taser and he fell to the ground, face down. She ordered him to show his hands.

The DA says Kassick’s left hand was briefly hidden, and his arms moved, apparently in pain from the taser. Mearkle shot him twice in the back.

“When the shot was fired Mr. Kassick was facing away from the officer, flat on his stomach.”  said Ed Marsico.

Police say Kassick was a heroin addict with a history of drug crimes. He had drugs and alcohol in his system at the time and he had a syringe. But, he did not have a weapon.

“As a result of this exhaustive investigation it was determined that Mr. Kassick did not display a weapon or anything similar to a weapon at the time he was shot by officer mearkle.” said Capt Adam Kosheba.

Kassick’s family told FOX 43 he was a gentle person who did not deserve to die. The DA says mearkle tried to perform CPR And save his life after she shot him. His death is the first police shooting found to be unjustified in dauphin county in at least 15 years.

“Where the evidence shows charges should be filed, police and prosecutors will not hesitate to file charges.” said Ed Marsico.

Bail was denied at the arraignment. Officer Mearkle left the judge’s office in handcuffs- taken into custody by state police.
Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 20th.

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