The York County District Attorney has cleared Springettsbury Township Police officers involved in a fatal shooting on Saturday to return to patrolling the streets.
"Based on what I saw, the officers could go back on duty," District Attorney Tom Kearney said Wednesday.
But that doesn't mean they'll be back in their police cruisers anytime soon, said Thomas Hyers, chief of Springettsbury Township Police.
Before the officers can return to work, they'll have undergo counseling and coinciding evaluation, Hyers said.
The officers are currently on paid administrative leave, and there is no set timeframe as to when the officers might return to work, the chief said.
The shooting: Todd William Shultz, 40, of the 300 block of East Fifth Avenue was shot by two officers outside the Kmart at 1094 Haines Road just before 7 p.m. Saturday, state police had said.
He was transported to York Hospital, where he was pronounced dead 40 minutes later.
Four township police officers were called to the store for a report of a man armed with a knife who was stealing jewelry.
Inside the store, Shultz fought with officers trying to arrest him.
Officers tried to subdue Shultz with a stun gun, but he was unaffected and continued to fight with officers as he made his way outside, where he pulled a knife.
Shultz ignored officers' commands to drop the knife and began advancing toward them as he made slashing motions with the knife, police said.
Two officers fired multiple rounds and struck Shultz to stop him from going back inside the store, according to state police.
Evidence: Kearney said he cleared the officers to return to active duty because of evidence he saw on the shooting and the need to have the officers on the street.
He said he went to the scene of the shooting the night it happened and reviewed 20 eyewitness statements and a videotape that included audio of the incident.
"It appeared very clearly that the police were acting appropriately," Kearney said. "I want to hold final judgement until the final report is finished."
A dashboard-mounted camera in a police cruiser recorded the video.
Kearney said the footage and the eyewitness statements indicated to him that officers had no choice in using the force used to stop Shultz.
"It's rare that I have videotape of what has occurred," Kearney said.
Report: Korey Leslie, who was representing Shultz on criminal charges in another case, had said his client was "meek" and "wild-mannered" and "was scared of punishment and consequences."
Shultz's criminal history includes past drug charges, charges of fleeing or attempting to elude police, reckless driving and driving without a license or registration.
State police are investigating the shooting and the district attorney's office will complete a final report on whether or not the officers acted appropriately.
Kearney said a toxicology report on Shultz still needs to be completed.
"There's a lot that needs to be done," he said.
- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.