Police: Man shot by officer had drugs in car, handed officers note saying he wanted to die

Local News

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier report stated that no officers were involved in the crash. This has been updated to reflect the latest information from police.

MARTINSBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — One person was shot in the abdomen by a Martinsburg Police officer after failing to stop at a traffic stop, according to police.

Police have identified the driver shot as Willis Truman Irvin Clark, of East Freedom.

According to the criminal complaint, police tried to stop Clark in the parking lot of Choice on N Market Street for expired registration.

Police say after failing to stop, Clark sped off down a one-way street and on to Route 164, where he reached a speed of 100mph before crashing on Cove Mountain Road. Clark and the passenger tried to escape on foot.

According to documents, the officer used a taser on the passenger. Clark continued to run and displayed a loaded .380 pistol.

The officer fired one round at Clark and struck him in the abdomen.

Clark was taken to UPMC Altoona in stable condition, police say. The passenger was taken in for questioning and confirmed she was aware Clark had warrants for his arrest. She also confirmed both of them were using heroin earlier in the day, according to the complaint.

Documents say police recovered the weapon on scene, which contained an obscured serial number, and inside Clark’s wallet they also found $2,000 and suspected heroin.

Police obtained a search warrant Thursday to search the vehicle, where police found the inspection expired in 2018 and the license plate was for the wrong vehicle, according to documents.

Documents say police also found unknown pills, two scales, about 15 grams of raw heroin, and suspected methamphetamine. Another magazine of .380 rounds was found behind the driver seat.

Police say Clark currently has a suspended license from a DUI, active warrants out of Blair County, and a guilty plea for Felony First Degree Assault out of Maryland in 2016.

On Friday, Clark handed a State Police trooper a hand-written note that said “Sir. I’m sorry. I just wanted to die, I didn’t want to hurt anyone. I just wanted to die, 02/28/20 0648 hours.”

The officer was not injured and has been placed on administrative leave.

Clark is charged with firearms and drug violations, avoiding apprehension, and other related charges.

The passenger of the vehicle is not facing any charges at this time.

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February 07 2021 06:30 pm

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