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Riots Erupt in Lancaster after Police Shoot Man Wielding Knife

A crowd forms in Lancaster, Pa. after a police officer shoots a man wielding a knife. (CBS Philly/via YouTube)

Riots erupted in Lancaster, Pa. on Sunday after a police officer fatally shot a man armed with a knife, police said.

The officer was responding to a call that 27-year-old Ricardo Munoz was becoming aggressive with his mother and was attempting to break into her house, the Lancaster City Bureau of Police said. After the officer responded to the call at 4:15 p.m., bodycam footage released by the department shows a woman fleeing the house while Munoz is yelling inside, the district attorney’s office said in a statement. 

The video then shows Munoz running out of the house holding a knife before the officer shoots him several times and the 27-year-old falls to the ground. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The officer has been placed on leave, according to a statement from Lancaster mayor Danene Sorace and the district attorney’s office said the shooting is under investigation to determine if the officer’s use of force was justified.

People assembled outside a police station after the shooting, with some damaging a police vehicle and others throwing bricks.  Rioters also threw glass bottles, gallon jugs filled with liquid and parts of plastic road barricades at officers. Officers used tear gas and rubber bullets to break up the crowd after demonstrators “failed to follow the instructions.” 

“A police-involved shooting has significant impact on a community, as we are seeing with the large number of individuals gathering in the streets,” District Attorney Heather Adams said Sunday night. “We ask that acts of protest remain peaceful as violence and destruction of property will become headlines and serve no purpose for the safety and wellbeing of our citizens and neighborhoods.”

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