DA to decide whether I-83 homicide was justified
It will be up to York County's district attorney to determine whether a York-based state trooper was justified in fatally shooting a driver who fled a traffic stop Tuesday and dragged the trooper a third of a mile on Interstate 83 .
Rasheem Singletary, 25, of Johnson Road in Petersburg, Virginia, died at the scene of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the York County Coroner's Office, which has ruled his death a homicide.
The coroner's office released Singletary's name Wednesday morning, following an autopsy at Allentown's Lehigh Valley Hospital.
Kyle King, spokesman for the York County District Attorney's Office, said criminal investigators based at the Pennsylvania State Police's Harrisburg headquarters will conduct the investigation into the incident.
Once the investigation is complete, findings will be forwarded to District Attorney Tom Kearney for review, King said.
Kearney will then make a final determination as to whether the trooper — whose name has not been released — was justified in fatally shooting Singletary. It's standard procedure in York County for the district attorney to make such determinations, he confirmed.
State police issued a news release stating Singletary was apparently trying to kill the trooper.
The background: Shortly before 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, the trooper pulled the man over for a routine traffic stop near the Emigsville exit (Exit 24), said Cpl. Ryan Lawrence, a state police spokesman.
During the traffic stop, the driver took off, and the trooper became stuck to the driver's side of the vehicle, Lawrence said. The trooper was dragged for about three-tenths of a mile, Lawrence said at the scene.
The fleeing driver tried to crush the trooper's body against the center concrete median, Lawrence said, adding the trooper is lucky to have avoided life-threatening injuries.
Singletary then crashed the sedan he was driving into the back of a tractor-trailer, police said.
Lawrence confirmed the trooper works at the Loganville barracks.
Served prison time: Singletary served time in a New York state prison for illegal weapons possession in Onondaga County, according to online court records.
He was released in May, records state.
He would have remained on parole supervision until May 19, 2018, court records state.
Tried Taser: While being dragged, the trooper tried to use "less-lethal force" by firing his Taser at the driver, Lawrence said.
Fearing for his life, the trooper pulled his service handgun and fired multiple shots at the driver, according to the corporal.
"He's a highly trained trooper, and he did exactly what he needed to do," Lawrence said.
State police closed both southbound lanes of I-83 for hours while dozens of troopers investigated; and northbound traffic was snarled much of the day because of the incident.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.