A western Pennsylvania coroner has recommended that a police officer involved in the fatal shooting of Eduardo Hoover Jr. following a car chase be charged with involuntary manslaughter. This recommendation by Washington County Coroner Timothy Warco has sparked controversy, with local prosecutor Jason Walsh vehemently maintaining that the shooting was justified.
Coroner Warco made his announcement after conducting an inquest into the April 2nd shooting of Eduardo Hoover Jr. Warco’s recommendation puts the onus on District Attorney Jason Walsh to pursue charges. However, state prosecutors may also consider the case. It’s worth noting that Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Attorney’s Act generally restricts county coroners from referring criminal investigations to the attorney general’s office.
Officer Tyler Evans, a member of the Mount Pleasant Township Police, is at the center of this controversy. He shot Eduardo Hoover Jr. following a police chase that involved multiple law enforcement agencies. Hoover’s vehicle was eventually cornered by five police vehicles, after which Officer Evans fired through the back window, hitting Hoover twice.
Coroner Warco’s recommendation is based on a thorough examination of evidence, including body camera footage, police reports, and eyewitness accounts. He argued that certain aspects of Officer Evans’ version of events did not align with the body camera evidence. Warco contended that Hoover’s vehicle, surrounded by police cars, posed no deadly threat and should not have been considered a danger to the officers.
Furthermore, Warco pointed out that another officer was in greater danger than Officer Evans, as he stood in front of Hoover’s vehicle. This officer chose to shoot at the car’s grille in an attempt to disable it rather than shooting at Hoover.
Mount Pleasant Township Police Chief Matthew Tharp confirmed that the criminal investigation had previously cleared Officer Evans of wrongdoing, emphasizing the police department’s support for him. Tharp asserted that the department had cooperated fully with the investigation from the outset.
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