Police charge 71 year old man with five counts of attempted homicide

Police are pressing charges against a 71-year-old man who shot at troopers early Sunday morning in Summit Township.  State Police are filing five counts of attempted homicide against the defendant, who reportedly fired multiple rounds from an AR 15 rifle while he was intoxicated.

State Police Captain, James Basinger, tells us, "We always know that we accept that risk when you become a state trooper, and as a superior, you feel that angst when you get that call at two o'clock in the morning that there's been an officer-involved shooting." 

Early Sunday morning, state troopers were dispatched to the 23-hundred block of Dorn Road for a domestic dispute.  Ruthann Lacastro called 911, reporting her husband Anthony Lacastro, for firing his handgun multiple times at their garage while she was nearby. 

When troopers arrived on scene, the defendant starting shooting at them, too.  Three of the five officers discharged their weapons.  Bandinger says, "That's obviously the worst outcome is to actually use lethal force, but sometimes you have to do that when you're being shot at."

Based on evidence gathered immediately, authorities say they had enough information to charge Lacastro with criminal wrongdoing.  Jack Daneri, Erie County District Attorney, says, "What's occurring now is that Corporal Bunyak and Detective Spusta will be conducting parallel investigations as to the appropriate use of force by the troopers involved at the scene".

Danieri says per protocol, the DA's office and an outside police barracks, in this case, the Franklin Criminal Investigation Unit; are looking further into what happened that morning.  He says, "There's much more to be done however in terms of interviewing witnesses based on statements of Mrs. Lacastro and the neighbors of the information they gave to us." 

Ruthann Lacastro told police Anthony said he would shoot anyone who came into the house, including police.  She also says Anthony was highly intoxicated.  Anthony was transported by ambulance to the hospital.  Police say there is no update on his condition.  All five of the officers involved are on administrative leave for 72 hours following the shooting.


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