Downingtown Wawa: Officer-Involved Shooting in Caln Township

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WEST CHESTER, PA — The Chester County District Attorney’s Office and the Caln Township Police Department announced the investigation of an officer-involved shooting in Caln Township, that occurred on February 22, 2023.

Based on a preliminary investigation, the following information has been established:

On February 22, 2023, at approximately 1:54 a.m., police received information about a stolen vehicle that was located at the Wawa in Downingtown Borough. Later, the suspect who had been driving the stolen vehicle, stole another car that was parked at the Wawa. Caln police officers attempted to stop the vehicle but the individual refused to stop and fled into a residential neighborhood.

A Caln Township police officer stopped at the intersection of Westerham and Shelburne Road in Caln Township with the intent to deploy stop strips to immobilize the vehicle. As the police officer was retrieving the stop strips from his vehicle, the suspect then crashed into the marked police vehicle head-on at a high rate of speed, forcing the police car backward approximately 40 yards. The officer, who was positioned behind his police vehicle, had to dive out of the way to avoid impact as he saw the defendant driving directly at him. The officer was showered with debris from the impact.

The suspect’s vehicle eventually came to rest approximately 50 yards away from the impact. The suspect got out of the stolen vehicle and began walking away from the officers as they approached. The officers repeatedly shouted commands at the suspect. The officers approached within 15 feet of the suspect when he stopped, turned to face the officers, reached his hand behind his back, quickly raised his hands clutched together while pointing toward the officers and stated, “I’ll shoot.” One of the officers fired 4 shots from a department-issued firearm, striking the suspect in the right leg. The suspect fell to the ground.

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After being shot, the suspect stood up and refused to follow directions from the officers on the scene. The suspect continued to indicate to officers that he was looking for his gun. He made additional motions toward the officers, acting as if he had a firearm. The officers, now within arm’s length of the suspect, recognized that he was not holding a firearm and attempted to de-escalate the situation. The suspect made his way to the passenger door of the stolen car and opened it. One of the officers deployed a taser and brought the suspect under control and he was handcuffed.

The suspect was transported to Paoli Hospital and treated for a single gunshot wound to the thigh and an elbow fracture. It is expected that he will be released soon.

This information is preliminary and the District Attorney’s Office is expected to provide written findings after its investigation.

Information is subject to change at any time as additional details may emerge. Information, a criminal complaint, or an arrest is not a declaration of guilt. A suspect, arrestee, or defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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