Sunbury man shot by acting chief of police
SUNBURY - A 22-year-old city man brandishing a knife was allegedly shot Tuesday morning by Acting Police Chief Brad Hare along Mile Post Road near Shikellamy Avenue and reportedly remains in critical condition today at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville.
Erick Robert Trometter, formerly of Herndon, was shot at approximately 11:15 a.m. in Upper Augusta Township, just outside the city limits. He was transported by ambulance to Geisinger, where a nursing supervisor confirmed he was a patient but couldn't provide any information involving his condition.
Hare, who was appointed acting police chief in May following the demotion of Steve Mazzeo by Mayor David Persing, escaped injury. Persing appointed Sgt. Christopher Blase as acting police chief for the duration of the shooting investigation.
Trometter was involved in a dispute in Sunbury at about 9:30 a.m. in which he allegedly assaulted a family member, who reportedly suffered injuries, according to sources close to the family.
Trooper Mark Reasner, an alternate community service officer with Pennsylvania State Police at Milton, said Trometter was spotted shortly after 11 a.m. walking along Mile Post Road. Reasner said the person who saw Trometter then notified police. The trooper wouldn't confirm if a motorist or pedestrian discovered Trometter walking along the back road from Sunbury that leads to Riverside.
Reasner said a Sunbury police officer later identified as Hare confronted Trometter, who was brandishing a knife. The trooper said the officer attempted to take Trometter into custody by deploying a Taser gun, but was unsuccessful.
Reasner, who did not provide a description of the knife, said the officer then pulled his revolver and fired one shot that struck Trometter. The trooper did not indicate where the bullet struck Trometter.
While speaking to the media at the scene around 2:30 p.m., the trooper did not identify Hare as the shooter or Trometter as the person shot. But The News-Item and other media were able to confirm the identities through various sources.
The trooper confirmed Tuesday night that the person who was shot was still alive.
Reasner said state police at Stonington are in charge of the shooting investigation, while Sunbury police are conducting a probe into the domestic disturbance.
In a brief press release, Northumberland County District Attorney Ann Targonski said, "At this stage, a public comment would be premature."
Targonski was just sworn into office Thursday to succeed Tony Rosini as district attorney. Rosini was appointed to serve as a Northumberland County judge until the end of 2015.
Authorities released few details about the shooting and domestic dispute for investigative reasons.
Investigators at the scene included state police from Stonington and Selinsgrove, a forensics unit from state police at Montoursville and Northumberland County Assistant District Attorney William Cole.
PennDOT employees cordoned off a section of Shikellamy Avenue between Fourth Street and Mile Post Road, and approximately a 50-yard stretch of Mile Post Road as police gathered evidence at the scene.
Authorities cleared the scene at about 3 p.m.
In October 2011, Trometter was charged by state police at Stonington with simple assault and harassment after stabbing his grandmother, Amanda Trometter, in the back with a spoon after she allegedly refused to make him lunch at their home in Herndon.
Amanda Trometter also was kicked in the backside by her grandson and suffered a 1 1/2-inch gash on her upper left shoulder blade in the 2011 attack.
In September 2012, Trometter was among inmates at Northumberland County Prison who filed a federal lawsuit against correctional officers for alleged beatings and being forced to live under foul and cruel conditions while he was serving a sentence of 4 to 23 months for simple assault.