Montgomery County District Attorney, Kevin R. Steele announced today that the Abington Township Police Officer’s fatal shooting of an armed suspect, was a lawful use of force.
The Montgomery County Detective Bureau conducted the investigation of the shooting. This is a typical procedure for any officer-involved shootings that occurs within Montgomery County.
The investigation revealed that Abington Police were dispatched at 2:18 p.m. on Sunday, March 4, to a reported domestic violence assault in progress in the 800 block of Jenkintown Road. The Montgomery County Communications Center advised officers that a victim arrived at the Second Alarmer’s Rescue Squad Ambulance Station with visible stab wounds, saying the stabber and additional victims were still inside the residence.
Once on scene, officers secured the perimeter and had to force open the front door of the residence. They were confronted by a male, Angel Luis Ortiz, a resident of the house, who refused to comply with officer’s commands to show his hands. Instead Ortiz shouted an explicative at officers as well as, “I have a hostage” and ran into the basement. Officers reported hearing a female screaming, “Help me, help me!” Abington officers descended the stairs into the basement where Ortiz was standing over a female, who was on the ground bleeding. Officers observed Ortiz raise his right hand, holding what appeared to be a firearm. An Abington officer shot the suspect multiple times. After rescuing the female victim and others from the home, officers provided aid to Ortiz, who died from the gunshot wounds. A black airsoft pistol designed to replicate a Beretta 9 mm handgun and a bloodstained wooden awl were recovered from the scene.
“Domestic violence situations can be some of the most dangerous calls a police officer responds to. These Abington police officers, knowing there were victims inside the house, ran in to save the adult and juvenile victims from additional harm,” said Steele. “The suspect was still actively assaulting individuals, refused police commands and pointed what appeared to be a gun toward police. The officer discharged his firearm to put a stop to the threat of death and serious injury to a hostage and Abington police officers. Our investigation determined the facts of this case supported the use of deadly force.”