DREXEL HILL, Pa. (WPVI) -- A man was shot dead by police after they say he tried to run over several officers in Drexel Hill, Delaware County Tuesday night.
The suspect is identified as 52-year-old Joseph Anthony Pacini.
Pacini was wanted for making terroristic threats against police and law enforcement.
Investigators say they first became aware of the 52-year-old after a local gym manager reported some threats.
fter he was contacted by Haverford police, Pacini posted several rants on YouTube where he again allegedly threatened police, including one particular officer with the Haverford Police Department.
Investigators say he can be heard on one of several video messages posted on YouTube saying, "Clearly these guys want me dead or in prison, and there's no way in hell I'm going back to prison."
"The lose-lose scenario: you try to arrest me," Pacini said in one post. "Consequently, there will be serious and irreversible catastrophic consequences."
Learning of the threats, Haverford police obtained an arrest warrant.
Around 4:35 p.m. Tuesday, multiple agencies went to Pacini's Clifton Heights home, but Pacini got in his vehicle and left.
Officers followed him into Drexel Hill.
That's when things escalated.
"As they attempted to stop him, he threw the car in reverse," said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood. "And he ran into the Chief of Police's car from Clifton and tried to run over several other officers who were around the car."
Fearing for their lives, Chitwood said, at least five officers fired their weapons at the suspect.
22 shots were fired in all.
Pacini, still in his vehicle, was hit at least three times in the upper body.
He died at the scene.
"It looks like he was hit two in the shoulder and one in back of neck," Chitwood said.
Evidence of the flying bullets could be found at the intersection of Garrett Road and Shadeland Avenue.
Broken glass was seen at a nearby bank and health clinic.
"It sounded like the grand finale of fireworks," resident Lynette Green said.
Investigators said Pacini had a history of mental illness, and that handling situations like this is never easy.
"When police have to deal with somebody with mental illness, it could be violent, it could be passive, you just don't know," said Chitwood. "The unfortunate thing in this case - he's got a vehicle, the vehicle was his weapon."
In his video posts, Pacini talked about Mafia connections and about not "taking the fall" for his family.
Superintendent Chitwood maintains the shooting was justified.
"The officers were in a crisis situation, they were in fear of their life. They did what they had to do," Chitwood said.
Police say Pacini was arrested in 2005 in Philadelphia for threatening a landlord.
He had been committed to a psychiatric facility by his mother.
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