MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The death of 19-year-old Christian Hall, who was shot and killed by state police in December, has been ruled justified by the Monroe County DA on Tuesday.
It all started with an anonymous 911 call on December 30. The investigation revealed the anonymous caller was Hall himself.
The 911 operator tried to call him back, but didn’t get a response.
Police responded to the scene on state Route 33 South at I-80 to find Hall standing on top of the concrete safety barrier.
“Come off, we can talk,” a police officer can be heard saying in video. “Something could be in his left hand Corp.”
Officers say they saw what they thought was a semi-automatic weapon. The investigation revealed it was an airsoft pellet gun made to look like a pistol.
They were able to negotiate with Hall, persuading him to put down his weapon. But he later grabbed his gun, put it in his waistband, and walked 90 feet toward officers.
“He doesn’t jump, but he waits after he calls 911 for the troopers and at all times he acts like that gun he has is real and they certainly believe it,” First Assistant District Attorney Mike Mancuso said.
Police say Hall then grabbed the gun from his waistband and took a step toward officers. One officer fired several rounds, but didn’t hit Hall.
Hall can be seen raising his arms to the side, turning the weapon sideways, rotating the barrel forward and then pointing the gun above his head.
This is when police began firing, killing him.
“The use of against Christian Hall, deadly force by Pennsylvania State Police was justified under the circumstances due to Hall’s actions which created a threat of death or bodily injury,” Mancuso said.
While the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office says they don’t think policemen were at fault, they want to make sure Hall’s family doesn’t blame themselves either.
“We’re sorry for your loss, we can’t imagine the impact that has had on you. We don’t believe you should blame yourself for anything, along the lines of what happened. CJ had a lot of mental health issues and in the end, they were too much for him,” Mancuso said.
The Monroe County NAACP issued a statement on the investigation and it can be read below: