District Attorney Jack Daneri has determined that the use of deadly force in an officer-involved shooting was justified.
"It's my decision that the use of deadly force by the two officers involved in this matter was appropriate under the circumstances." said Daneri.
The shooting happened on October 26, just before midnight, near East 3rd and Parade Streets.
At that time, the two officers involved were on patrol when they spotted a van which had been reported as stolen.
When the officers approached the van with their guns drawn, Daneri says the driver, identified as 46-year-old Charles Wallace, drove the van directly at one of the officers.
According to Daneri, the other officer, who was at the side of the van, fired eight shots at the vehicle, killing Wallace.
"His belief was that his partner who was, last he saw, was directly in front of that van, was either being run over or about to be run over,” said Daneri. “He needed to use deadly force to stop that from happening."
According to Daneri, investigators recovered surveillance video from the area, which captured the entire incident and corroborated the officer’s statements.
"Both of the officers version matches what happened on the videotape before and during the shooting itself." said Daneri.
Erie Police Chief Don Dacus says both men have been on administrative leave. The one who did not use force, returned to work last week. The other officer is expected to return to regular duties as well.
"They did what they had to do,” said Chief Dacus. “It's unfortunate, the outcome and the amount of force that we sometimes have to use, but they did everything correct."
Chief Dacus and Daneri are not releasing the names of the officers involved.