Man with butcher knife shot by Altoona police

A suicide attempt ended with an Altoona police officer shooting a man, according to state police.

A 48-year-old man was threatening suicide when Altoona police arrived at 1615 16th St. at 11:20 p.m., Trooper Jeffrey Petucci said.

“He had a butcher knife and was actually using it to cut himself,” Petucci said.

The man refused officers’ demands that he drop the knife and was shot when he came at officers with the knife in hand, state police said.

The man was shot once and was tackled by police, who wrestled the knife away. He was treated immediately by AMED personnel – who were waiting outside the home – before he was taken to UPMC Altoona with an injury that is not considered to be life threatening, Petucci said.

No Altoona officers were injured in the incident, police said.

Petucci said investigators from Troop G will handle the investigation of the incident, while Altoona police will conduct their own internal review of the shooting.

The investigation is expected to take several weeks as investigators interview witnesses and those involved, collect evidence and ultimately compile a report, Petucci added.

“Once that’s complete, it will be handed over to the [Blair County] District Attorney,” Petucci said.

The District Attorney’s office will determine if any charges will be filed and whether the shooting was justified.

Altoona police Chief Janice Freehling said the officer who fired the shot was placed on administrative leave through Tuesday night and will be placed on desk duty pending the outcome of the state police and subsequent internal review of the shooting.

The officers at the scene were not equipped with stun guns, Freehling said.

The shooting comes a year after Altoona police shot a man in an alley after the man appeared to raise his hands with a black weapon.

It was early April 8, 2013, when an Altoona officer on patrol shot the man in the shoulder in an alley off Fourth Street. He turned out to be unarmed, and the subsequent investigation showed he was holding his underwear in his hands, but Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio determined the shooting was justified, given the man’s actions when he encountered the officer.