Police: Trooper shot armed man during traffic stop

May 22, 2022 GMT

MOUNT PLEASANT, Pa. (AP) — State police in western Pennsylvania say a trooper shot and killed an armed man during a traffic stop after a reported theft from a mall over the weekend.

Police said troopers were called to the Washington County mall at about 6 p.m. Saturday after the Rural King store reported a retail theft. Police said the suspects’ vehicle was spotted and stopped minutes later in Mount Pleasant Township.

Police said the driver was taken into custody, but a passenger refused to leave the vehicle. Police said as the trooper was issuing “verbal commands,” the passenger “brandished a firearm,” and didn’t comply with orders to drop the weapon.

Police said the trooper fired a shot, hitting the passenger, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The Washington County coroner’s office identified him as 26-year-old Dennis Fonoimoana of Burgettstown. An autopsy is planned and the cause and manner of death remain under investigation.