Officer justified in using deadly force during Doylestown standoff: DA

DOYLESTOWN TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A prosecutor says a police officer was justified in using deadly force in a shooting during a standoff in Doylestown last month that killed a man.

Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said 61-year-old Thomas Edward Zeller emerged twice from his Doylestown Township home on Feb. 20 and aimed loaded firearms at police officers. Weintraub said Monday that the officer who fired had no choice but to eliminate the threat to himself and the other officers.

Zeller died March 1 at Abington Hospital-Jefferson Health where he had been since the shooting.

Prosecutors said earlier that police responded to the home on a report of an armed man upset and damaging property. Authorities said he barricaded himself and police tried to negotiate his surrender before the shooting.

Weintraub said a total of five shots were fired, all by one member of the Central Bucks Special Response Team. whose name wasn't released.

Prosecutors said Zeller first pointed a loaded .22 rifle in the directions of officers, and four shots were fired at him, none of which struck him. Prosecutors said he later emerged and aimed a loaded .38 caliber revolver at officers, and the officer who had fired earlier fired again, striking Zeller in the upper abdomen.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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