D.A. – ‘Officers have a right to use deadly force’

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EASTON -- The Northampton County district attorney says troopers had every right to shoot back at the man who opened fire last week on Route 33 during a traffic stop.

During a news conference, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli went over details of last week's shooting on Route 33 near Nazareth.

The D.A. says both Cpl. Seth Kelly and Trooper Ryan Seiple had every right to fire back at Daniel Clary, 22, of Effort in Monroe County, after he opened fire last week during a traffic stop that turned violent.

Police say Clary was pulled over for speeding. After fighting with officers and freeing himself from their restraint, Clary grabbed a gun and fired it at troopers.

"I am not going to have police officers in fear that they will be prosecuted when a situation, someone looks like they are reaching for a gun," Morganelli said. "I am going to say that police officers have a right to use deadly force and we are not going to have dead police officers or seriously injured police officers because they have to wait for the moment they are shot."

After it was found he may have been under the influence, Clary and the troopers began physically fighting on the side of the road.

Clary was able to free himself from their restraint and grabbed a gun and fired it at troopers.

Both troopers were able to shoot back but Clary managed to get to his car and drive to a hospital.

Cpl. Seth Kelly was severely injured and is still recovering from the shooting.

The district attorney says both troopers had every right to fire back at Clary and says their use of deadly force is justified and no charges will be filed against them.

"Watching this individual resist arrest, try to grab the trooper's gun, tried all types of force, taser, physical restraint to try and keep this guy from leaving, he refused, reaches for a gun, pulls a gun out and they have every right to use force," Morganelli said.

The district attorney says there are no plans to release the dash cam footage of the incident yet. It is being used as evidence.

Daniel Clary's preliminary hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday at the Northampton County Courthouse.


  • Supporter of America

    Someone in Government using common sense, it’s about time. Someone pulls a gun, they are the ones initiating the threat and not the other way around regardless if it is police or civilians. Someone pulls a gun on you, they have already announced their intention and I for one would not wait to see if they are actually crazy or dumb enough to pull the trigger; it is cut and dry what the response should be.

  • 🤔

    I agree they have the right to use deadly force in some cases, not all. It depends on the situation. There have been some cases where the cop was a little trigger happy. Look at how many people have been shot when they weren’t doing anything to get shot for. Prime example is when a man was laying on the street with his arms straight in the air. He was trying to help his autistic patient and he was shot for no reason at all. So, yes in some cases such as this one they do have the right to deadly force. Like I said, it depends on the situation.

  • Conservative Patriot

    Why does this even have to be said? Anyone, police officer or not, has a right to self defense. Are the police walking on that many egg shells that this subject has to be addressed?

  • Realnews

    Not true, killing a repeat unrepentant criminal is not condemned in the bible, Jesus said “go and sin no more” he didnt say go out and do whatever you want again, I’ll cover you, they had stricter laws than we do now, the criminal scum are having a field day

  • warningfakenews

    Not commenting on this specific case, but all cases of police use of deadly force in general:
    Cops enjoy the benefit of the doubt on this already. Still, each and every case needs to be evaluated on its own merits. There’s an obvious conflict of interest when the police are the arbiters as to whether a shooting was justified, as is often the case. The DA doesn’t have enough insulation from the cops who feed him cases to try, either.
    It’s an inarguable fact that sometimes police use deadly force on people without any real provocation, it’s rare, but it happens. Abuse of power in a free society should be shunned just as much as criminal acts are.

    • Realnews

      Every shooting by police is already investigated, None of us live in Mayberry, the police these days have to confront very violent criminals, mentally disturbed, crazed druggies and extremely dangerous domestic situations, its a war out there and now we have ridiculously belligerent individuals that are proclaiming cops are the problem, do not jump into their false rebellion

      • warningfakenews

        Unbeknownst to me, perhaps unreported here- was that the state police in PA are actively trying to thwart having some other agency investigate shootings by the state police. I heard the story in passing on WILK, but don’t see it on their website. My comment wasn’t actually because of that because I heard the story mentioned only this morning. Still, it seems unwise for any agency to be investigating itself.

      • warningfakenews

        Saw a piece in the WaPo on this. Hmmm. There is some difficulty, here- because that source is questionable– but the article said there was a Grand Jury looking into whether or not the PA state police should investigate itself, with the state police wanting to shut the grand jury down. So much for transparency!

        Given that it was in WaPo, it may just be a fabrication…. they do that a lot.

  • buzzed driver

    Why such a ridiculous statement ? Well DUH, what did you expect to happen ? Buy these cops more bullets for practice so they can save us atty and jail costs next time , and the best armor too.

  • Lance Jamason

    Par for the course… Surprised they felt a need to announce that police may use deadly force. I know if someone was shooting at me I wouldn’t have any problem returning the favor promptly. Every second counts! I feel really bad for Cpl. Seth Kelly and his family.
    The State Police deserve a lot more respect, and it’s terrible this officer gets shot several times just doing his job. Obviously he was good at his job, considering he had the right guy pulled over that needed taken off the streets for good.

    • Jack Irvin

      What a dumb assed DA, you can not use deadly force on black people, that would be racist, you can only use deadly force on white folks.You trying to stir up racial tensions?

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