DETAILS OF INCIDENT:
On March 15, 2021, the Berks County District Attorney’s Detectives were notified that a uniformed, on-duty Muhlenberg Township Police Officer, was involved in a shooting.
The Berks County Detective’s Office assumed the lead investigative role in this Officer Involved Shooting pursuant to District Attorney John T. Adams’ protocol to have an independent investigative agency investigate Police Officer shootings. The investigation yielded the following information:
This afternoon at approximately 2:15 p.m., the Berks County Department of Emergency Services received a 911 call from a female, reporting a male with a knife. She stated this male had threatened her and the phone call disconnected.
The 911 operator dispatched Muhlenberg Township Police Officers to a residence located in the 700 block of Wagon Wheel Lane, Muhlenberg Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. Upon arrival, the uniformed Police Officers entered the residence and the female complainant advised them the male with a knife locked himself inside the 2nd floor bedroom.
The Officers proceeded to the 2nd floor. They located a key, which enabled them to unlock and open the bedroom door. The male brandished a knife and after failed verbal commands and attempts to get him to drop the knife, the one Officer deployed his departmental issued taser which had no effect. A 2nd Officer discharged his departmental issued firearm (1) one time, striking the male in the chest area. The male was rushed to the Trauma Unit at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center / Tower Health.
At approximately 3:14 p.m., the medical staff determined the male was deceased.
No Police Officers were injured during this incident.
This is an on-going investigation and we continue to gather more information.
District Attorney John T. Adams intends to hold a press conference in the near future to discuss the investigation in more detail.
This is an isolated incident. There is no longer any danger or threat to the community.
If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact the Berks County Detectives at 610-478-7171.
On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at approximately 1:30 p.m., Forensic Pathologist Dr. Neil Hoffman, performed an autopsy on the decedent, who has been positively identified as (62) sixty-two-year-old Stephen James Hughes.
Based on the results of the autopsy, Dr. Hoffman concluded the Cause of Death was due to “Single Gunshot Wound to Chest”.
The Berks County Coroner’s Office has listed the Manner of Death as “Pending” at this time.
This investigation is a priority and remains active and on-going. The Berks County Detective’s Office has additional interviews scheduled and further investigative leads to follow-up.
Additionally, evidence collected at the scene and at the autopsy needs to be processed, which includes a ballistics examination and comparison.
The Berks County Detective’s Office will conduct a thorough and exhaustive investigation and at the conclusion of the investigation, the Berks County District Attorney, John T. Adams, will hold a Press Conference to announce the findings and issue his legal ruling.
If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact the Berks County Detective’s Office at 610-478-7171.