Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Police officer shot dead after pointing stun gun at man's dogs as he attended domestic
A police officer killed while responding to a domestic disturbance in a small eastern Pennsylvania borough had pointed a stun gun at two dogs before being shot, court records reveal.
Freemansburg police officer Robert Lasso had pointed at the attacking dogs when the homeowner pulled out a shotgun and fired the fatal blast on Thursday evening.
In police custody, the alleged gunman, 46-year-old George Hitcho Jr, said he had told Mr Lasso to get off his property and not come on unless he had a warrant, authorities said.
'He tried to kill my dogs and pointed a gun in my face,' Hitcho said, according to the documents. 'I do not care if you a cop or not ...Unbelievable.'
The officer had been responding to a report of a disturbance and ended up at the back of Hitcho's house, authorities said.
Police Chief George Bruneio, who arrived after Mr Lasso requested assistance, instructed him to 'shoot the dogs' and that's when the homeowner pulled out a shotgun and fired, authorities said.
Mr Lasso, 31, a married father of two, was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has ordered flags in the Capitol complex and in Northampton County to be flown at half-staff to honour Mr Lasso.
Disturbance: The owner of the Pennsylvania home allegedly told Mr Lasso to get off his property before shooting him
Honoured: Mr Lasso, 31, was a married father of two
Mr Lasso's family said they were devastated.
'Robert, he was so good,' said his mother, Elsie Stem. 'He was so loved, especially by his kids. Now they have to grow up without a daddy. It's not fair.'
Mr Lasso's funeral will be held on Tuesday. Yesterday a procession was held in his memory as his body was transported from hospital to a funeral home.