Adams County DA: State Police trooper was justified in February shooting that killed one man

ADAMS COUNTY — The Adams County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday that the Pennsylvania State Police trooper who shot and killed Michael Drayer on Feb. 13 was justified in using lethal force.

District Attorney Brian Sinnett announced the findings of his office’s probe into the shooting in a press release. The investigation was a joint effort from his office, Adams County Detectives, and the Adams County Coroner.

The trooper, whom Sinnett did not identify, was justified in shooting Michael Drayer, who ignored commands to drop the knife he was holding and was attempting to stab his brother, Jesse, when the trooper opened fire.

“The trooper’s actions in this case were clearly and unequivocally justified concerning the use of deadly force, because the trooper reasonably believed that such force was necessary to prevent death or bodily injury to Jesse Drayer,” Sinnett said in the press release. “As such, the trooper was justified in using deadly force.”

In incident occurred Feb. 13 at the intersection of Carlisle Road and Aspers-Bendersville Road in Menallan Township.

Several witnesses saw Michael Drayer chasing his brother with a large kitchen knife. Jesse Drayer first took refuge in the bed of a pickup truck, but when troopers arrived at the scene, Jesse Drayer got out of the pickup and ran to a marked State Police vehicle, where he secured himself in the driver’s seat area in an attempt to take refuge, Sinnett said in the release.

Jesse Drayer was suffering from a significant stab injury inflicted by Michael Drayer prior to troopers’ arrival, Sinnett said.

After reviewing testimony from eyewitnesses, interviews with troopers, and audio recordings of the incident, investigators determined Michael Drayer refused numerous repeated commands to drop his knife, and approached the trooper’s vehicle in “an agressive manner,” according to Sinnett.

After Michael Drayer again attempted to attack his brother with the knife, the trooper fired three shots, hitting Michael Drayer and ultimately causing his death, investigators determined.

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