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Police, DA continuing to investigate officer-involved weekend shooting

Updated: Monday, December 23 2013, 08:46 PM CST
Reported by: Jesse Knutson

LANCASTER -- A routine police call in Lancaster County turned into a life-or-death situation for an officer over the weekend.

According to the Lancaster County District Attorneys Office, the Lititz Borough Police Department received multiple calls around 3 a.m. Saturday from a home in the 100 block of Arrowhead Drive, but no details were given in the calls.

The responded to a situation knowing that someone had called 9-1-1, but they werent really sure why, Craig Stedman, Lancaster County District Attorney, said.

A 23-year veteran of the Lititz Borough Police Department, Officer Joel Hartz, responded to the scene.

When he arrived, he entered the home and was confronted by 22-year-old David Giliberti, who was described as agitated at the time, but police dont know why.

He threatened to kill the officer a number of times, Stedman said, adding that a struggle ensued where Giliberti reached for Hartzs revolver, but was unable to get it out of the holster.

Hartz then tried to Taze Giliberti, but that was unsuccessful. Giliberti then went into the kitchen, returning with a knife.

Hartz told Giliberti to drop the weapon numerous times, but Giliberti did not, and instead charged at Hartz who shot and killed him inside his grandmothers home.

Its a tragedy for everybody, Stedman said. You have a life lost, and it was in her home, and the police officer has to deal with this as well, emotionally. Its a difficult time for everybody.

Those who live near the Giliberti residence cant believe this happened in their quiet neighborhood, and theyre hoping for answers. I dont know why they (police) were called, but I just cant believe it turned out into him (Giliberti) being killed.

Marianne Thomson, a neighbor, said.  Stedman said its reasons like this that we owe so much to police officers. Simple calls that may seem routine at one point can instantly turn into a life-or-death struggle, like this one, he said. Hartz has been placed on administrative leave with pay while the investigation into the shooting continues.

The district attorneys office still has interviews to conduct, but the part that will take the longest is the toxicology report, which will show if Giliberti had drugs or alcohol in his system.

We want to know, and the public has a right to know, what led up to this and the circumstances surrounding this, Stedman explained.

Im going to want to wait until we get all of the facts, including the toxicology, before we make a final announcement in this case.

According to Stedman, the toxicology report could take a number of weeks. Police, DA continuing to investigate officer-involved weekend shooting


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