HONESDALE -- The family of a National Guardsman who was shot and killed by state police in Wayne County two weeks ago demonstrated on Monday, hoping to get from authorities as to why they had to use deadly force.
The results of an autopsy done last month still have not been released, including information as to how many times the 21-year-old man was shot.
The Wayne County district attorney will only say the investigation is continuing and she's not releasing information until it's done.
Derek DeGroat's father, his girlfriend, and some others marched in front of the Wayne County Courthouse on Monday, demanding answers and a change in police practices.
On the coldest day of the winter so far, Michael DeGroat and Lindsey Erk were joined by friends, holding signs and marching in front of the Wayne County Courthouse in Honesdale.
The father and girlfriend of Derek DeGroat spent the last two weeks, the holidays, wondering exactly what happened when troopers shot and killed the National Guardsman.
"I don't think I'll ever celebrate another holiday. I don't think I can," said Derek's father Michael DeGroat. "I don't think they've even opened the Christmas presents yet. My family is completely distraught."
"Derek was an amazing person and he didn't deserve what happened to him, and it breaks my heart along with everyone else that he was taken from us. He was ripped away from us," said Derek's girlfriend Lindsey Erk.
What they do know about that night near Waymart is that a family member called 911 to report Derek was suicidal after a fight with his girlfriend.
A search warrant indicates troopers told him to drop his weapons. He spun towards them. They fired. Two rifles and a shotgun were found near his body.
"I watched them shoot him. And I watched everything happen and I watched him laying on the ground," said Erk.
We took the family's concerns to the district attorney who says she understands they want answers, she just doesn't have them all yet.
"I can certainly understand why the family and the loved ones of Derek want answers, and I do as well, but the investigation is going to take its time and be full and complete, and when it's done, I promise to report as soon as I know something," said Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards.
But the family wants more than answers. Their signs call for a change in how police respond to a call about someone who is suicidal.
They want Derek's Law, requiring a trained counselor to be on scene and for law enforcement to put saving other lives above saving their own.
"They used excessive force to take him down," said Michael DeGroat. "It doesn't take more than one bullet to silence someone and they used excessive force to silence a cry for help that night."
The Wayne County D.A. says she hasn't received an autopsy report yet. She plans to meet this week with the forensic pathologist who did it.
The D.A. has told us she already reviewed dashcam video of the shooting, but she won't be releasing any more details until the investigation is done.