Report: Police justified in shooting man pointing pellet gun

Friday, July 17, 2015

DOVER, Del. -- Delaware authorities say two Dover police officers were justified in fatally shooting a mentally disturbed man who pointed a pellet gun at them.

The attorney general's office said this week that the officers had reason to believe their lives were in danger last December when 52-year-old James Long pointed the gun at them after police entered his apartment following a 90-minute standoff.

Long, who had a history of mental illness and alcohol abuse, had called a hotline that night and implied that he planned to commit "suicide by cop." He had been taken into custody six months earlier after making a similar threat and barricading himself in his apartment.

Authorities say Long had alcohol and marijuana in his system. The pellet gun was a replica of a .45 caliber pistol.