Victim Identified in State Police Deadly Shooting in Wayne County

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CANAAN TOWNSHIP -- A man is dead after a shooting involving state police in Wayne County.

Investigators told Newswatch 16 one man was shot by state police along Volunteer Way in Canaan Township, near Waymart around 11:30 p.m. Monday after an incident at a home.

Troopers responded to 911 reports of a man with gun threatening to kill himself and threatening to kill police if they came to the home, according to a release from Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards

Authorities said Derek DeGroat, 21, was shot and killed by troopers. He was declared dead at the scene by the coroner just before midnight Monday.

Derek DeGroat

Troopers kept everyone far back from the scene overnight on back roads near Waymart after state police surrounded the home.

Troopers responded after investigators say someone inside the home called 911 saying Derek DeGroat was threatening to take his own life and had guns.

The Wayne County district attorney says troopers shot and killed DeGroat, but it's not clear what caused troopers to use deadly force.

"He didn't deserve anything, he didn't deserve to go," said neighbor Allison Miller.

Neighbors were in shock after a night that included several gun shots and lots of questions.

Investigators say DeGroat was heard saying he'd shoot and kill police if they showed up, but the opposite ended up happening.

"You don't expect this happen," Miller added. "You don't expect anything bad to happen, then it happens, part of you is ripped away.'

"It was scary, it was a scary scene," said neighbor Renee Loveland. "I feel really bad for the family up there. My heart goes out to them, especially this time of the year,"

The D.A. indicated that the investigation is still ongoing, including ballistics, forensics, and eyewitness accounts of those on the scene.

An autopsy on DeGroat is scheduled for Wednesday.

Family members are searching for answers.

34 comments

  • RIP

    Condolences to everyone involved in this situation. May he rest in peace and everyone involved find peace within themselves.

  • Condor

    I love you idiots who blame the police for this. Yes, it’s sad that it happened. But it’s sad for the police too. This guy threatened to shoot them and then came at them with a gun. His own family said it (The Scranton Times and WBRE). Are the police supposed to let him shoot them? To not go home to their families because this guy decides he wants to come at the police. WNEP seems to be the only media source that doesn’t have any information. The other sources have been providing much more details about the incident.

  • B

    really? Get rid of them? I’m willing to bet money you’ve been arrested at least once! You get rid of police, you think things would be better? Maybe for you. Maybe for criminals. Truth is, nobody knows what happened but those who were there. Was he suicidal? Nobody knows but him. Looks like he served in the military. Did PTSD play a part? I work with Veterans and soldiers daily and know for a fact nobody would know the truth but him.

    Did he point his forearm at the officer? Of course you’ll say no to lay blame but were you there?

    Stricter gun laws? All that does is make it easier for criminals to do what they do. Limit police power? Only people who want that are the ones who commit crimes.

    I’m tired of all the BS about cops need to die or no police or all are bad blah blah blah. All that does is turn the attention from the poor kid who died too young no matter what the reason or cause was.

    Try this…. It’s not about you!!! It’s quite simple. Let his family mourne and move forward.

    If he is a combat vet, it could have been PTSD related.

    Do any of you know the number of vets who commit suicide daily? 22. He may have been one of them that just couldn’t do it. It’s truly sad and all you people could say is F the police.

    This last part is for this news station. If you continue to allow these nagative posts about law enforcement etc I will be sure to start a wide spread boycot of the station. If you don’t think 1 person has the power to do so, try me.

    I’m tired of the media allowing this crap for ratings while it TEARS our country to pieces.

    Let this poor family mourne in peace, the police do their jobs and the justice system deter main faults!!

  • Fallon

    I know this family personally and Derek was a good kid and No matter what the story is I feel for his family and friends ! God bless them in this tragic time in their lives .. Such a sad thing to witness

  • Anonymous

    People need to stop always blaming LEO’s for doing there job. If there is any perceived threat of any loss of life, deadly force can and should be utilized to reduce injury or death to others. If there were no threat for violence, PSP would never had been called. Without a doubt, a tragedy. The only comments being made should be condolences for the family. Too many cop haters anymore and that is the problem with society.

  • Common Sense

    Why do we automatically believe the police? Suddenly their word is the Gospel? This story seems strange. Usually when a person is in this situation the police do EVERYTHING to make sure the person SURVIVES. They don’t KILL him. Definitely more to the story.

    • Cyle

      You’re right. There’s way more to this story and nobody wants to hear it. They already made Derek look like a terrible person and that’s enough info for everyone apparently. He didn’t even threaten the cops. All these people hear one side of the story or just part of it and believe it. And then half the people on here dislike your comment because you have an open mind to this

    • Shane

      Once again here come the keyboard tough guys. Why not post some thing positive. Maybe thoughts and prayers. But no let’s start the bashing.

  • Friend

    I personally knew derrick all throughout highschool, he always had rough days and said somethings but i know he was never serious, he enjoyed life way to much to actually take that away. I am so saddened to hear this.

  • B

    really? Get rid of them? I’m willing to bet money you’ve been arrested at least once! You get rid of police, you think things would be better? Maybe for you. Maybe for criminals. Truth is, nobody knows what happened but those who were there. Was he suicidal? Nobody knows but him. Looks like he served in the military. Did PTSD play a part? I work with Veterans and soldiers daily and know for a fact nobody would know the truth but him.

    Did he point his forearm at the officer? Of course you’ll say no to lay blame but were you there?

    Stricter gun laws? All that does is make it easier for criminals to do what they do. Limit police power? Only people who want that are the ones who commit crimes.

    I’m tired of all the BS about cops need to die or no police or all are bad blah blah blah. All that does is turn the attention from the poor kid who died too young no matter what the reason or cause was.

    Try this…. It’s not about you!!! It’s quite simple. Let his family mourne and move forward.

    If he is a combat vet, it could have been PTSD related.

    Do any of you know the number of vets who commit suicide daily? 22. He may have been one of them that just couldn’t do it. It’s truly sad and all you people could say is F the police.

    This last part is for this news station. If you continue to allow these nagative posts about law enforcement etc I will be sure to start a wide spread boycot of the station. If you don’t think 1 person has the power to do so, try me.

    I’m tired of the media allowing this crap for ratings while it TEARS our country to pieces.

    Let this poor family mourne in peace, the police do their jobs and the justice system deter main faults!!

  • Maybe...

    I get the concept and intention of “suicide by cop,” and from the bits of information so far, that sounds like it could be a possibility. But technically, it’s not so much suicide as it’s a deadly game of “he made me do it.” The person who wanted to die did not, in fact, shoot himself. He was shot, so I don’t think the ME report would list his cause of death as “he made the cops shoot him.” Suicide is self inflicted, it’s not passive…that would otherwise be called homicide I think. This is NOT to lay blame on the officers (I know that sounds odd,) but what I mean is when it’s labeled “suicide by cop” right away, all accountability for the individual’s death shifts to him, and not to what could during the intervention to possibly prevent it. If we decide going in that there is no stopping a suicidal person, then cops can open fire on every suicide call…save the ambulance drivers the gas. I think we can do better.

  • Cyle

    You people need to get your facts straight before you run your mouth about someone you don’t even know. You weren’t there and you have no idea what happened. The only story you know is the one the cops and media want you to know.

    • gutterratt

      “and threatening to kill police if they came to the home,” So what are the alternatives? Try and deescalate, but he threatened to shoot anyone who came near…leave it alone and let him off himself, or take him out because he had guns and may have threatened anyone in the area? Are there neighbors who live close that could’ve caught a bullet should this guy went off? We have know many people who are depondent and it’s a shame but time after time no matter how much you try and help they constantly threat others, threaten suicide, and tend to do so around holidays and special events for what? Negative attention? I am sure he has family and friends who tried to help him and sometimes people cannot get help because the cannot for whatever reason receive it.

  • jrsycy2

    There are alot of people and kids out there with issue. The police should have contained it and talk to him out got someone who could talk to him. Killing someone with issues is not the answer. As you can see this really pissed me of

  • WTP

    Can we all say Power Trip!!! in the past year I’ve seen more people young,old,black & white of every nationality being shot and killed by The law who are supposed to be here to protect and serve. What happened in that Supposed “time gap” mentioned in the video. How about we have stricter gun laws for the police. There abusing the power that there given. They think because there handed a Gun and have a Badge Pinned to there chest they have the right to Shoot first ask questions later!

    • Infamous

      If you have a gun and someone else has a gun and that person is aiming and ready to kill you, what would you do? I’m sure if you have a family that needs you alive, you’ll act before they do. And if you say otherwise, I know you’re lying to yourself.

      • anonymous

        If I have a gun and someone else has a gun, and is making verbal threats against me and himself, I’m not going to confront him with my gun, demand he drop his, and provoke a tragedy. I would back off and find someone who knows how to TALK to someone in that state, and maybe save his life.

  • Do or die

    Police are not trained to shoot him somewhere where it wouldn’t count they are trained to shoot for center mass at the end of the day it’s my life or his and I would choose his. People want to blame the police for a bad shoot well in my opinion this was a great shoot. You can never predict what a suicidle man is going to do he has hostages and guns and the best way to rescue people who aren’t suicidle is to disarm the gunman in anyway possible. Put yourself in that house, what would you want the state police to do. Great Job PSP, even though you didn’t want to kill this kid it was your life or his merry Christmas.

  • Shelby Cliff

    If this were a shooting between two civilians we would have every single detail immediately, but because several police officers shot at and killed a suicidal man in his home we have to wait for them to come up with some elaborate story to cover up their deadly mistake. Can’t wait to see what bogus story they tell us. I’m extremely sorry for that poor man’s family, suicide and suicidal durations are nothing to be joked about, it’s an extremely serious problem in today’s world and I wish he had a chance to get over his hump in the road and move forward with his life. Such a tragedy. I wish the family the best and they are in my thoughts. If the story they come up with doesn’t match the one that you saw in front of your eyes, make it known in every way you can. I am a supporter of the truth and it needs to be heard.

  • BZ22

    Why do so many of our young people believe they have nothing to live for and are better off dead? Suicide is becoming far too common as the answer to their problems and is such a sad, helpless situation for everyone involved.

  • Drums Man

    Why can’t a situation like this be de-escalated?
    Life have no more value?
    It appears that when the State Police shows up, someone will lose their life.
    Sad, that things have to end up like this.

  • Rich

    When are the police going to learn that this is going to happen every time that they get a call that says they will kill themselves or the police. So why send them if he is threatening that. That is just instigating the situation and of course someone will loose there lives.

  • PAborn

    When will the PA police corruption end!!!???? They are a sad excuse for protection. They run around like the wild west with no one to hold them accountable. …

    • Shane

      Paborn. Once again here come the keyboard tough guys. Why not post some thing positive. Maybe thoughts and prayers. But no let’s start the bashing.

  • Christine D.

    “man with gun threatening to kill himself and threatening to kill police if they came to the home.”

    Another case of suicide by cop. He was going to do it or let them do it, either way he succeeded in his endeavor. Sorry that he had to have an officer do it for him, now that officer will have to live with that for the rest of his life.

    • Maybe...

      I’m inclined to agree that if he was going the suicide by cop route, its a more dangerous situation than a regular mental health call because the people bringing the aid also bring the lethal means along that the person may want. Some counties have Crisis Intervention Teams, don’t know about State Police. It’s not a fault thing though, or a vast conspiracy I don’t think. If he was killed by the police, I imagine he was threatening them with a weapon. Otherwise he killed himself and they couldn’t stop him. Could it have been deescalated? Not in this case I guess. BUT in some cases I think it can, so it’s worth looking at other ways to approach these situations.

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