Erie Man Sentenced up to 50 Years for Firing Gun at Police
The Erie man convicted of shooting at two city police officers following a high-speed chase, will now spend up to 50 years in prison.
On Monday, Deandre Tate, 32, was sentenced 25 to 50 years in prison for two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.
“Ultimately, we're very satisfied with this sentence,” said Erie County Assistant District Attorney Paul Sellers. “I think it's one that absolutely takes into account the severity of the crime and the other events that surround that evening."
What started out as a routine traffic stop last January, turned into a high-speed chase that ended on the grounds of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home.
Prosecutors say Tate jumped out of his moving vehicle and fired seven shots towards two Erie police officers.
The uninjured officers returned fire, hitting Tate twice.
"Our officers, every night and day put their lives on the line,” said Erie Police Deputy Chief Jon Nolan. “It is good to see that justice was served in this case."
Deputy Chief Nolan says the case shines a light on the dangers faced by law enforcement, every single day.
"Law enforcement professionals deserve to go home at the end of our shift,” said Deputy Chief Nolan. “We all have families. We all have lives. We're all human beings and it's important for us to protect ourselves as well as the community."
Throughout Tate’s trial, his attorney Gene Placidi argued that Tate was not shooting at police, but rather shooting into the air in an attempt to commit suicide by police.
"Sadly, I think this goes to show when mental health issues remain untreated, for whatever reason, not proper services available, or the person doesn't treat their mental health, things like this happen." said Placidi.
Before his sentencing, Tate apologized to the officers and said he hopes to take his situation, and turn it into something positive.
Tate was initially facing a minimum of 20 to 40 years for each count, but Judge John J. Mead made the sentences run concurrent, or at the same time.
Judge Mead said running each count separately, would have been equivalent to a life sentence.