Clearfield standoff suspect killed
Police shoot Kanouff when he refuses to follow commands
CLEARFIELD — A 48-year-old Clearfield man is dead after an overnight standoff with police that began Wednesday evening outside his apartment.
Christopher Allen Kanouff was on parole for two previous cases of terroristic threats and stalking from 2018 when he was stopped by police for having an expired registration and suspended insurance about 6 p.m. Wednesday on the 300 block of Daisy Street in Clearfield Borough.
Court records indicate that when he was sentenced in November 2018, he was also ordered to undergo a mental health assessment.
According to an affidavit filed prior to Kanouff’s death, after the officer discovered Kanouff had a warrant for his arrest from the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, he requested backup.
Once the other officer arrived, they asked if they could pat Kanouff down. He replied, “You don’t want to do that.”
The officers then noticed he had a black semi-automatic handgun in his waistband, the complaint said. Both officers drew their guns and pointed them at Kanouff, ordering him to the ground. Instead, Kanouff ran away, with the officers in pursuit.
Kanouff was reportedly about 20 yards away from them when he pointed and waived his gun at them. The officers took cover before continuing their pursuit, which ended on the 800 block of Daisy Street.
A neighbor advised them that Kanouff lived in a third floor apartment at 802 Daisy St.
At a press conference Thursday, state Trooper Bruce Morris explained that Kanouff barricaded himself in the apartment and refused to exit the building. A perimeter was set up and some of the neighbors evacuated.
During the stand-off, Kanouff threatened to shoot citizens on the street.
A state police Special Emergency Response Team arrived on the scene and tried to get him to surrender, but he refused.
Throughout the ordeal, Kanouff continued to be verbally combative, police said.
In the early morning hours, police deployed chemical agents into the apartment, but Kanouff broke into an adjacent vacant apartment to avoid them.
Police then used chemical agents on the second apartment, leading to Kanouff exiting with the gun. After he refused to follow commands, he was shot by a member of SERT. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:50 a.m.
District Attorney Ryan Sayers said at the conference that “many attempts for a peaceful resolution were tried,” adding that he was “happy no civilians were injured.”
Morris said that if you see a family member or friend who appears to be struggling with a mental health issue, you should reach out to them and get help.
“The last thing we want to see is what just happened,” he said.