More prison time for arsonist shot by York City Police

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A man shot by York City Police in March after he torched a trailer and pointed a BB pistol at officers has about three months left to serve on his prison sentence after pleading guilty in York County Court last month.

Luis Amadiz-Rodriguez was homeless at the time of the shooting and told investigators he lit the fire and pointed the BB gun at police because he wanted to go to jail, according to court documents.

Luis Amadiz-Rodriguez

Amadiz-Rodriguez, 24, pleaded guilty to arson, a first-degree felony, and to misdemeanor reckless endangerment on Sept. 26, according to court records.

His attorney, public defender Erin Thompson, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Presiding Common Pleas Judge Michael E. Bortner sentenced Amadiz-Rodriguez to 11½ to 23 months in York County Prison, plus two years of probation, court records state. The judge also ordered him to complete mental-health court and to undergo a mental-health evaluation and comply with any treatment recommendations.

He has received credit for the nearly eight months he has already served in prison, according to court records.

Aggravated and simple assault charges against him were dropped as part of his plea agreement, records state.

The background: Amadiz-Rodriguez had been living in a trailer on Maryland Avenue  and set it on fire so he would be arrested and locked up, police have said.

That trailer was valued at $200 by city firefighters, who responded to the scene shortly before 7 p.m. March 2 and quickly doused the fire, a fire official has said.

Flames had been moving toward the rear property of neighboring Re-Source York at 405 Carlisle Ave., but fire crews extinguished those as well.

Amadiz-Rodriguez was on a neighbor's second-floor balcony holding a knife when York City Police arrived, court documents state.

He complied when officers ordered him to drop the knife but then pulled a BB pistol from his back pocket and pointed it at the officers, state police said.

That's when officers fired on him and he was struck in the arm.

The wound was not considered life-threatening, York City Mayor Michael Helfrich has said.

Amadiz-Rodriguez was treated at York Hospital, where state troopers questioned him.

In York County, it's standard procedure for state police to investigate municipal police-involved shootings.

What neighbors saw: Neighbors first identified Amadiz-Rodriguez as being suspicious, and one of them saw him hiding behind her fence between a shed and bushes, court documents state.

He was holding a knife when he threw a brick and some construction debris at firefighters, who weren't hurt, officials have said.

Amadiz-Rodriguez then made his way to a second-floor balcony at the rear of a nearby home in the 800 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, which is where he was when York City officers arrived, state police said.

Pennsylvania State Police investigate an officer-involved shooting outside 831 Pennsylvania Ave., in York City, Friday, March 2, 2018. The shooting victim, who admitted to have started a fire in a nearby trailer, was hiding on the property when approached by officers. Dawn J. Sagert photo

He reached the balcony by climbing a fire escape, according to the mayor.

Troopers reviewed body-camera footage from York City officers that showed that at the time he was shot by police, Amadiz-Rodriguez was holding a pistol in his right hand and had not obeyed orders from police to drop the gun, court documents state.

Before the shooting, he also threw a brick at city officers, according to state police.

York County District Attorney Dave Sunday has not made his determination about whether an officer was justified in shooting Amadiz-Rodriguez.

The incident remains under investigation by state police, according to Kyle King, spokesman for the DA's office.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.