DA: Officer justified in shooting suspect in Hanover drug bust

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Joshua Harding

Police were justified in shooting a York man during a September drug raid, according to the York County District Attorney. On September 23rd, police shot Joshua Harding, aka “Hellraiser,” in the chest when he resisted arrest and sucker-punched an officer who was trying to handcuff him. Police were serving warrants on Holly Urban and Joseph Weaver, the residents of 312 East Middle Street in Hanover and Harding happened to be in the apartment and happened to be holding a sizeable amount of heroin. While the residents were being handcuffed, one of the officers, Trooper James O’Shea began talking to Harding. Harding appeared to cooperate when O’Shea went to cuff him, but then unleashed a vicious punch that struck O’Shea in the ear. The other officer, Matthew Kile of the Adams County Drug Task Force, tried to take Harding to the ground, but Harding stayed on his feet and continued to fight. O’Shea then shot Harding in the chest.

The officers administered first aid to Harding, who survived, although the bullet remains in his chest due to medical concerns over removing it.

Harding is charged with Possession of Heroin with the Intent to Deliver, 2 counts of Aggravated Assault, Escape, Resisting Arrest and 2 counts of  Simple Assault.  The charges are currently pending. York DA Tom Kearney says the investigation into the shooting is closed.