Authorities say a 21-year-old man who recently attempted suicide was shot and killed by police along a rural road in his hometown of Harmony after he pointed a shotgun in their direction.
Steve McCausland of the Public Safety Department said two Somerset County sheriff’s deputies and a state trooper responded to a call from Daniel McDowell, who claimed he had killed a person and kidnapped two others.
The officers arrived at the South Road at about 1:30 Saturday morning and found McDowell armed with a shotgun while standing near his vehicle.
McCausland said McDowell pointed the gun toward the officers and all three of them fired their weapons. No other victims were found.
McCausland quoted Somerset County officials as saying they had been called to McDowell’s home earlier this year in response to a suicide attempt by means of a drug overdose.
The officers, who were not injured during the roadside confrontation, are identified as Deputies Michael Ross and Ritchie Putnam and Trooper Bernard Brunette.
They’ve been placed on administrative leave with pay pending an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office. That’s standard procedure in cases involving use of deadly force by law enforcement officers.