Butler County man shot and killed by state trooper

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Authorities are investigating the shooting death of a 25-year-old Butler Township man Friday evening involving an off-duty state trooper.

State police said the victim, Kristopher Barkus, was shot by the trooper — identified by Butler County records as Brian J. Knirnschild — sometime around 8:40 p.m. after both had exchanged words and Mr. Barkus showed a handgun outside the trooper’s September Drive home.

Mr. Barkus had arrived uninvited, according to police. Mr. Barkus’ brother tried to get him away from the trooper’s home before the trooper opened fire, according to KDKA-TV.

Mr. Barkus’ brother drove him to a nearby hospital and Mr. Barkus was then flown to Allegheny General Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 10:31 p.m., according to the Allegheny County medical examiner’s office.

The medical examiner’s office determined that Mr. Barkus had wounds from two to three gunshots to his trunk.

Mr. Barkus’ father, Bob Barkus, told KDKA that his son Kristopher had been carrying an Airsoft gun.

“We miss him tremendously already. He was a great musician, athlete, sometimes comic. He’s a good man,” Bob Barkus said of his son.

The major case team for state police at Butler is investigating with help from the county district attorney’s office.

First Published June 7, 2014 9:11 AM


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