Press-Republican

Local News

January 1, 2013

Altona man shot and killed by deputy

Serving warrant when, Sheriff David Favro says, man drew knife

(Continued)

NOT FELONIES

Another person was in the basement of the home at the time the incident took place, the sheriff said, but was not in the immediate area.

“That individual was cleared from the home and removed from the home,” he said. 

Authorities would also look to the autopsy to determine whether Clark was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident.

The warrant from Altona Town Court was for failure to appear on charges of unlicensed operation and unsafe passing.

“He was not facing any felony charges at that time, and I don’t think the charges (were) the primary reason as to why he took the aggressive approach that he did,” Favro said.

Still, he wished not to speculate on why Clark was unwilling to answer the charges against him.

“You can’t get inside somebody’s mind to actually assess what they were thinking and why they do things,” he said. 

The State Police Troop B Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Forensic Investigation Unit processed evidence at the home at Favro’s request.

“We will continue to investigate and evaluate everything that took place,” the sheriff said. 

‘UNIMAGINABLE TO MOST’

Winters is a 12-year veteran, and both he and Bertrand are deeply grieved over the necessity of using lethal force, Favro said in a separate interview.

He added at the press conference that the two officers were currently on their regularly scheduled days off, and the department would work with them and other agencies to establish what course of action would be in the best interest of the officers, as well as the department as a whole.

“An event like this is unimaginable in most people’s minds, and a typical individual could not even comprehend what it’s like to have someone come after you with a deadly weapon that wants to take your life, when your job is out there to try and protect others and keep the peace in the public,” Favro said.

“It’s an unfortunate incident, but I am pleased at least to be able to announce that the officers did deploy their training, which is a very difficult thing to do in a critical time like this and that the outcome, as unfortunate as it is, could have been much much worse.”

— News Editor Suzanne Moore contributed to this report.

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