Officer-Involved Shooting Investigation in Berwick

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(WBRE/WYOU-TV) A still-developing story coming out of Columbia County tonight. It involves an officer-involved shooting and a high-speed police pursuit.

A very intense situation this afternoon in Berwick. Investigators say it all started when the suspect hit a Berwick police officer with his vehicle. The drama ended on Dell Drive in Salem Township when police officers rammed the suspect vehicle off the road.

It was like a scene out of a made for a TV crime story. But this was all too real. It began just after noon on 15th Street between Pine and Market Streets. Berwick Police spotted a man wanted on a felony warrant for drug charges.

“The car from the suspect did strike my officer. Shots were then fired at the suspect vehicle, the suspect inside the vehicle. A pursuit happened next and it ended here just outside Columbia County in Luzerne County,” said Berwick Police Chief Ken Strish.

Christine Knouse lives on 15th Street where the drama began to unfold.

“All I knew is we were in the house watching TV my daughter yelled ‘Mommy it sounds like gunshots.’ She’s up there on the corner. When we came out, we seen the sheriff chasing a black SUV around the corner. We heard gunshots and next thing we knew we were under lockdown as you can see,” Knouse said.

That black SUV Christine mentioned was actually a Berwick police officer chasing this car, the suspect vehicle. Police used what’s called a pit maneuver to ram the suspect off the road. He slammed into hedges on Dell Drive about a mile from where the pursuit began.

“My uncle came in and told me the front was covered with police officers. I came outside and saw state police, Salem Township police. I was curious as to what was going on. My uncle told me someone was firing shots from 15th Street and they chased him up here,” said Diane Howell, who lives across the street.

The suspect was taken to the nearby Berwick Hospital to be treated for injuries. But it’s still unclear if he was shot or were those injuries caused by the crash. The chief tells Eyewitness News, The officer who was struck by the suspect vehicle is ok and was not injured.

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