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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Forks Officer Cleared in Shooting Death of Mentally Ill Man

Pellet gun and machete wielded at Forks Tp
police officers by Scott Macintosh on Dec 9
Forks Township police officer James Rovinski has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in the December 9 shooting death of Scott Macintosh of the 500 block of Apple Blossom Drive. District Attorney John Morganelli made the announcement yesterday at a news conference attended by five state troopers who conducted an independent investigation. Forks Township Police Chief Greg Dorney. Macintosh's sister, Tammy Frasca, was also present.

Morganelli has called the shooting a "justifiable homicide." Another term also applies. Suicide by cop.

The wheels were set in motion on December 9 when Macintosh texted his sister to say he took all of his medications. he had no criminal record, but had been battling mental illness for the past 10 years. She called 911 to request an ambulance, and called again when he texted her to state that "whoever is sent will die." Frasca told police her brother had been unsuccessful in purchasing a gun, but did own a BB gun.

Rovinski was the first officer to arrive on scene, but saw no movement on the property. He received word that Macintosh threatened to commit suicide if he saw a police officer. He added that he would harm them as well.

Over the next five minutes, five additional officers arrived, along with Tammy Frasca. She told officers she feared that her brother was going to commit suicide by cop.

As officers formulated a plan of approach, one of them detected Macintosh moving inside a shed at the property. As they approached, they saw him standing in an open doorway and stopped. He was holding a machete in one hand and what appeared to be a black handgun in the other. All officers commanded him to drop the weapon and get on the ground. But Macintosh instead began cursing and began moving at the officers with his machete raised. When he began to raise the handgun as well, Officer Rovinski fired twice from an AR-15 he was carrying. One bullet stuck the shed while the other hit Macintosh in the neck. He dropped immediately. Though officers rendered first aid, they were unable to save him. Macintosh was later pronounced dead at Easton Hospital.

The handgun was the pellet gun mentioned by Macintosh's sister and not a real gun. But it lacked the orange coloring commonly associated with toy guns. It was black in color and had a silver barrel. According to the DA, it resembled a 45 caliber colt semi-automatic pistol. Unlike the gun, the machete was real. Macintosh was a large and young man. He was 6'1", weighed 320 pounds and 35 years old. Officer Rovinski waited until Macintosh was about 10 yards away before firing.

When police later searched the home, they found a suicide note among the various kinds of medications that Macintosh was taking. Morganelli called the matter a tragedy.

Chief Dorney noted that his department, the first to be certified in Northampton County, often deals with people who are emotionally disturbed.He said that when there are reports of violence and a gun the first priority has to be locating and securing the person. After that,the very first call would be to Mental Health.

Officer Rovinski is on administrative leave. He and other officers at the scene have undergone critical incident stress debriefings. They have undergone evaluations by a licensed psychologist.


Anonymous said...

Im sure this officer did not want to shoot. But he did what he had to do. Why did the family, doctors, et al let this young man get to this stage. Should have had help.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Who the fuck do you think you are to anonymously attack this person's family? You sound sick yourself. This fellow's sister cared very much about her brother.

Anonymous said...

Im not attacking the family. I know she loved and cared. However, it should have never gotten this far. The system failed. Everyone failed to help him that's all I'm saying. And who are you to use such language on me.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You certainly did attack the family. Read your comment. And I'll use whatever language I want to an anonymous coward who slurs the family of a man who is already dead.

george schaller said...

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