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Vigil set for State College man killed in police-involved shooting

Mental health warrant led to officer-involved shooting, police say

State College police Chief John Gardner informs the public about the officer-involved shooting that occurred on March 20, 2019 at Marvin Gardens Apartments.
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State College police Chief John Gardner informs the public about the officer-involved shooting that occurred on March 20, 2019 at Marvin Gardens Apartments.

Several community organizations are planning a public vigil for Thursday night after the police-involved shooting death of Osaze Osagie, 29, of State College.

Borough police had been trying to serve a mental health warrant on Osagie shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday when an officer fatally opened fire, police Chief John Gardner has said. Authorities have released few other details as state police investigate what happened at the scene, located in the Marvin Gardens apartment complex at Old Boalsburg Road and Easterly Parkway.

In a posting on Facebook, seven local groups said they will host an hour-long candlelight vigil starting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Allen Street gates, located at College Avenue and Allen Street in downtown State College. The assembly will mourn Osagie’s loss, organizers said in the posting.

“He was a 29-year-old black man shot to death by State College police. They were at his residence for a wellness check. He did not deserve to die. His life mattered. #BlackLivesMatter,” the posting reads in part. “Please come to show your support and grieve a life taken far too early.”

The groups listed as part of the event include the Penn State Student Black Caucus, Planned Parenthood Generation Action of PSU and Central PA Showing UP for Racial Justice. As of 10:30 a.m. Thursday, nearly 100 people had indicated online that they plan to attend.

“An innocent man died and a family lost a loved one” Wednesday, the Black Caucus wrote on Twitter. “There is a very strong need for solidarity and support at this time ... .”

The officers involved in the shooting incident have been placed on administrative leave — in line with borough policy — pending the outcome of the investigation, Gardner has said. Their names have not been released.

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