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Man dies after being shot at off-duty trooper’s house

June 7, 2014 News Extra

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BUTLER TWP — A man is dead following a shooting Friday night at an off-duty state trooper’s home.

Lt. Eric Hermick said the trooper, who police have not identified, was home with his wife and young children about 8:40 p.m. when Kristopher Barkus, 25, of Butler Township and another man showed up at his door in the 100 block of September Drive.

Barkus and the man were asked by the trooper to leave but they refused.

Hermick said Barkus then brandished a handgun and the trooper yelled for him to drop the weapon.

The man did not, and the trooper fired a round into Barkus’ chest, Hermick said.

Barkus was driven to Butler Memorial Hospital by his partner and then flown by medical helicopter to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, where he was pronounced dead.

The incident occurred on the front porch and sidewalk of the single story home.

A handgun not belong to the trooper was found at the scene.

Hermick said the second man was questioned at the hospital. He had not been arrested or charged as of midnight.

Hermick said it was the second time in a matter of weeks that Barkus showed up at the address, but did not comment on why he was at the home.

Neither the trooper or the other man were injured.

The state police major case team is investigating the incident and consulting with the Butler County District Attorney.

“We’ll conduct a full investigation for homicide,” Hermick said. “Then the facts will be presented to the district attorney for assessment.”

Hermick said people should not speculate at this stage of the investigation if charges will be filed.

Police worked late into the night investigating the scene, speaking with neighbors, and re-enacting the shooting.

Neighbors told police they heard the trooper yelling “drop your gun” before a shot was fired.

A neighbor down the block, who asked to not be identified, said the trooper’s family was new to the neighborhood.

He said he never would have imagined a shooting would happen so close to his home.

“I was actually cutting grass today and thought ‘what a peaceful neighborhood,’” he said. “It’s very quiet here.”

Hermick said he knew the trooper as a “good worker” and a “family man.”

The trooper’s family was taken away from the home for the night.

Barkus was charged with harassment following a May 17 incident handled by Butler Township Police, according to court documents. He also had two previous DUI arrests, one in which he was carrying a firearm without a license.

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