Death of Lancaster man ruled justifiable homicide

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After thorough investigation, police and the Lancaster County District Attorney have determined that the shooting death of 27-year old Christopher Leonards was justifiable homicide. At about 11:30 p.m. on February 1st, police responded to the 100 block of Oak Road in Manor Township for a shooting.

Upon arrival, officers found Christopher Leonards had been shot and killed inside the home. At that time, Christopher’s brother, 22-year old James Leonards, was taken into custody for the shooting but was later released that morning.

Manor Township Police, the Lancaster County District Attorney and the Lancaster County Coroner completed an investigation revealing Chris was intoxicated that evening and began to physically assault his brother. At 6’1″, 200 pounds, Chris was much larger than James, who is 5’4″, 200 pounds. A witness said Chris placed James in a choke hold and was physically choking his brother.

James was able to break free and run to the end of a hallway where he picked up a nearby handgun. Chris continued to assault him and, fearing for his life, James fired and shot Chris.

The district attorney determined Christopher’s death to be justifiable homicide, acting in self-defense, and no charges will be filed against James. The investigation has been closed.