Man killed by Pennsylvania State Police had 'crazed look'
Police investigate the scene outside of a Save-A-Lot food store at Crossroads Plaza in East Huntingdon where a state police trooper on Friday shot and killed a man who had assaulted the trooper.
Seth O'Donnell, left, in a February 2012 arrest.
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The man who cut a Pennsylvania State Police trooper with scissors Friday morning had "a crazed look in his eye" minutes before authorities said he was shot and killed by police in an East Huntingdon strip mall parking lot.
Betty Healy, manager of the Save-A-Lot store where police struggled with Seth W. O'Donnell, of Scottdale, said the 26-year-old was behaving erratically when he came into the store: eating food and drinks from the store shelves, running down the aisles and putting on hats from a display of winter gear.
"He never spoke," she said.
Trooper Stephen Limani of the state police barracks in Greensburg said Mr. O'Donnell cut the trooper in the head before the trooper shot him to death outside the grocery in Crossroads Plaza just before 9:30 a.m.
The trooper, a 10-year veteran of the force whose name is not being released, received six stitches, and was treated and released Friday afternoon, Trooper Limani said.
About 9 a.m. Friday, police received a call from the nearby Walmart about a man carrying scissors and acting unruly. The man went next to Crossroads Plaza and into the Save-A-Lot grocery, where he was physically aggressive toward one of the cashiers, Trooper Limani said.
Ms. Healy said the man swung at her with the scissors when she told him he would have to pay for the items and leave the store.
The store's owner, John Mitchell, said Mr. O'Donnell, who was inside the store about 15 minutes, was "acting very strange" and grabbing items off shelves and spitting on the floor.
Mr. Mitchell said he shuffled customers and employees out of the way as the situation escalated.
A state trooper arrived at the grocery store, and the men struggled inside as the trooper tried to take Mr. O'Donnell into custody. At one point, the trooper shocked the man with a Taser inside the store to subdue him.
The man slashed the trooper in the head with the scissors. Ms. Healy said the trooper, who also chased the man around the store, was wounded just inside the doorway.
The man broke free. Just outside the store, the trooper shot him multiple times before he ran and collapsed in the parking lot, Trooper Limani said.
He was pronounced dead at Excela Frick Hospital at 9:46 a.m. by the Westmoreland County coroner's office.
Mr. O'Donnell had previous scrapes with police at stores nearby, most recently this week, Trooper Limani said.
"This has been going on for the last several days," he said.
Mr. O'Donnell pleaded guilty last year to simple and indecent assault and disorderly conduct as part of a plea deal after his arrest in connection with an incident that happened in May of 2009. Online court records show that a judge ordered him released in August, assuming that he would live with his mother and meet other conditions.
Save-A-Lot was open for business early Friday afternoon, as its employees collected the last of the shards of broken glass around 1 p.m.
During the struggle, a glass panel on the door was broken. The employees said they've been so busy cleaning up and talking to police, they haven't had a chance to process what happened that morning.
A woman said as she walked out of the store: "I never thought I'd see anybody get shot."
First Published January 5, 2013 12:06 am