State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

One Dead After Officer-Involved Shooting in State College

by on March 20, 2019 6:54 PM

Updated at 8:00 p.m.

A State College police officer shot and killed a man Wednesday afternoon while attempting to serve a mental health warrant at Marvin Gardens Apartments on the 1000 block of Old Boalsburg Road.

Pennsylvania State Police at Rockview, which is handling the investigation, identified the man who was killed as Osaze Osagie, of State College. At a press briefing early Wednesday evening, State College Police Chief John Gardner identified the victim as a 29-year-old African-American male and said the officers involved, who have not yet been identified, were placed on administrative leave, per department policy, pending an investigation by state police and the Centre County District Attorney's Office.

WJAC-TV obtained a copy of a search warrant which states that Osagie's father contacted police because he was worried about his son, "who he told police had been acting erratically for a couple of weeks and could possibly be off his medication." The father reportedly showed police text messages in which Osagie threatened to harm himself and others.

When police went to Osagie's apartment, he allegedly confronted officers with a knife and ignored commands to drop it, WJAC reported. Osagie reportedly came after the officers at which point one shot and killed him.

Gardner said that officers went to the building at about 1:45 p.m. to serve the mental health warrant, which authorizes law enforcement to take into custody a person who is showing signs that he may hurt himself.

"During the course of this attempted service, officers were involved in a shooting that resulted in the death of a young man who was the subject of the warrant," Gardner said. 

No one else was injured and Gardner did not comment on details of the exact circumstances that led to the shooting. 

Police said earlier in the day that the shooting was confined to one apartment  and that three officers had been at the scene. State police, Centre County coroner Scott Sayers and the district attorney's office were immediately called to the scene.

Shortly after the shooting, police said that the area was secure and there was no threat to the public.

"This is indeed a sad and tragic day in State College. Our heartfelt sympathies are with the victim's family and also we continue to have the officers and their families in our thoughts and prayers," Borough Manager Tom Fountaine said. "As we have done in the past, State College Borough is committed to an independent and transparent and open investigation of this incident involving State College police officers. Our goal and commitment to the community is to ensure we have an open, honest and independent investigation to thoroughly understand what did transpire today."

Neither Gardner nor Fountaine took questions, citing the ongoing investigation by state police.

Nearby Easterly Parkway Elementary School and the Delta Program were placed on lockdown at the request of police at the time of the incident but soon after resumed normal operations.

"To be clear, the incident did not involve our schools and all students and faculty were and continue to be safe," Superintendent Bob O'Donnell wrote in a message to families.

School dismissal proceeded as normal. At about 4 p.m. Old Boalsburg Road was reopened to traffic.

It marked the second deadly shooting this year in State College, though with vastly different circumstances. In January, a Benner Township man shot and killed two people and critically injured another at P.J. Harrigan's Bar and Grill before breaking into a Tussey Lane home where he killed one man and then himself.

"As you know this community has been rocked the past six weeks by incidents that are unfathomable for this community and for that my heart goes out to all those victims," Gardner said.


Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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