Police Shooting Victim Has Luzerne County Roots

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WEST HAZLETON -- Prosecutors in Dauphin County say Hummelstown Police Officer Lisa Mearkle was not justified in using deadly force when she shot and killed West Hazleton native David Kassick back in February after he tried to flee from a traffic stop.

Detectives say at the time Kassick was using drugs and alcohol, but his family's attorney, Chris Slusser of Hazle Township, says that doesn't mean Kassick's life didn't have value.

"He was very much loved by his family. He is very much missed by his family," Slusser said.

Andy Bobey of McAdoo grew up with Kassick and his brother and says David was a talented mechanic who loved motorcycles.

"They were just fun guys, always fun to be around. They always livened up the place," said Bobey.

David's brother Dan lives in West Hazleton and didn't want to speak on camera. He saw the video of his brother's killing that hasn't been made public yet.

Slusser has also seen the video from a camera attached Mearkle's Taser. He described what it shows.

"He is facing away from the officer. He is face down in the snow when he is shot twice."

Slusser filed a civil suit against Officer Mearkle along with her department and borough of Hummelstown, but he's hoping for more than a conviction and a settlement.

“If it means that other officers will look to this and make decisions that are different than that particular officer, that's certainly a positive."

Still, Kassick's childhood friend believes that in the end there will be justice.

"They are taking focus on this thing. They are coming a lot into the nation and that is going to help a lot with Dave," said Bobey.

Slusser says a judge denied a motion to prevent the tape from being released to the public. It’s a small victory for the prosecution and the Kassick family, but there is a long legal road ahead.

10 comments

  • Solomon Grundy

    No riots because he is a white man and I am assuming shot by a white cop….HMMM seems odd no uproar here….Obviously the white community knows how to behave and allow an investigation and judicial process to take place….Others should take notice and learn a lesson.

  • tiredofviolence

    Makes no sense what she did..years ago cops shot at my husband and his uncle for a B&E at a business. No didn’t know them back then, and no they shouldn’t have been doing that, however, they ran on away on foot and left the car at the scene. Cops coulda let them run and get the info they needed fro the plates I would think. No way of knowng tho if they were carrying weapons of could’ve put someone else in danger. It is very difficult to make snap decisions like that. Erring on the side of caution and putting out an APB might be best! These people cannot run very far and it’s not like any of them were fleeing a homicide!

    • Youmustbekidding

      The police should let burglars go? Are you crazy? It’s time for these criminals ( and the public in general) to take responsibility for their actions.

      • balling on a budget

        you’re out of your mind. since when are police officers allowed to play god when a suspect is fleeing??? next time you get into an argument with someone and they walk around from you, shoot them in the back, and see if you’ll be walking around freely.

      • Shoot1stQuestons2nd

        I agree, Shot a few and the rest will learn real quick! Countrys that Shot first have very low crime rates.

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