Cumberland Co. DA says March 7th police-involved shooting was justified, clears officers

29 March 2024- Cumberland County District Attorney Seán M. McCormack today released his findings concerning the March 7, 2024, officer involved fatal shooting of Gregor Fleming, Jr., in Hampden Township. After reviewing an investigation conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police, McCormack ruled the Hampden officers’ fatal shooting of Fleming was justified under the law.   In reaching this decision, McCormack indicated that he considered all the facts surrounding the incident, the officers’ body cam footage, an in-vehicle dash cam video, the statements of witnesses and the statements of the officers involved.

During his press conference this morning, McCormack walked reporters through the events of March 7th, that lead to Gregor Fleming’s death: 

  • 6:03 PM – Cumberland County 911 call center received a call from a 19-year-old female reporting that “MOM’S BOYFRIEND IS SUICIDAL WITH A GUN TO HIS HEAD”.  She further reported to the 911 operator that Gregor Fleming was inside of her residence with a gun to his head, and he is her mother’s boyfriend. She informed the operator that she herself was outside, that her mother was still inside the house with Fleming, as well as her 21-year-old brother. She stated he has not done anything to harm himself yet, but does have a gun to his head, and he is currently in the master bedroom of the house.
  • 6:06 PM – The First Hampden Township Police Unit Arrive on scene.  Once officers arrived on scene they met and spoke with the 911 caller who advised them on the situation concerning Fleming. Other units arrive shortly after and begin to set up a perimeter near the suspect’s home blocking access to Erbs Bridge Road in front of the home. While they were able to block traffic travelling on Erbs Bridge Road, traffic traversing Sporting Hill Road continued to travel behind the location where officers set up to block Erbs Bridge Road.  
  • 6:11 PM – Five minutes after the first officer arrived on scene, Gregor Fleming exited the home with a handgun. He walked towards the Conodoguinet Creek located across the street from his home. Fleming was instructed to drop his weapon multiple times by the officers.  While along the creek bank, Fleming unloaded and reloaded the firearm on at least two occasions.  All of this was observed by the responding officers.  As this is going on, the officer in charge of the scene requested that a negotiator be dispatched to the scene to assist with speak to Fleming. An ambulance is also requested to respond. 
  • 6:18 PM – While officers are attempting to both engage Fleming and gain control over a scene that was not yet completely secured, Fleming is observed pointing his firearm gun at law enforcement officers. Officers noted the incident but did not fire at Fleming at this time.  At this point in time, despite two patrol cars blocking traffic from turning onto Erbs Bridge Road from Sporting Hill Road, with flashing lights activated and multiple officers using said vehicles to shield themselves from potential gunshots, one civilian vehicle attempted to drive around the patrol cars to access Erbs Bridge Road and drive into the scene towards Fleming’s location. Officers quickly reacted to get the car to back out of the scene. 
  • 6:21 PM – Shortly after the civilian’s car drove into the scene, officers observe Fleming walking back towards the roadway. Fleming began walking toward the officers blocking the Sporting Hill intersection of Erbs Bridge Road.  Fleming monetarily turned around before recommitting to his intent to walk at a deliberate pace toward the officers. Officers ordered Fleming to drop his weapon. He did not do so and continued to walk towards the officers.  When he reached the center double yellow lines of the roadway, Fleming raised his left arm and deliberately pointed the firearm at the officers. To protect themselves and any public behind them in the vicinity Sporting Hill Road, two Hampden Township officers fired their firearms at Fleming. Fleming was struck three times in the torso and once in the upper thigh. Immediately after Fleming fell to the ground, officers began to provide first aid to Fleming and the ambulance staged nearby was brought into the scene to provide life-saving aid. Despite these efforts Mr. Fleming died at the scene. 

McCormack stated that his role as District Attorney was to review the incident from the perspective of criminal law. McCormack referenced Pennsylvania’s crimes code sections governing the use of force in self-defense situations.

“Where the actor believes that force, in this case deadly force, is necessary for the purpose of protecting himself, or others, against the use of unlawful force by such other person, or persons, then the force is justified. In this case the force Gregor Fleming was threatening to use against the officers was the type that was intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to the police and others. Therefore, the Hampden Township Officers were justified in using deadly force to prevent the death or serious bodily injury to themselves and the public.”

McCormack indicated that his review of the March 7th incident is now complete, and that the District Attorney’s investigation is now closed.