State College

Man killed in State College police confrontation had multiple gunshot wounds, coroner says

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.

The State College man shot during a confrontation Wednesday with borough police died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to Centre County Coroner Scott Sayers.

Following an autopsy, Sayers issued a statement Friday that 29-year-old Osaze Osagie’s death was a homicide.

Sayers did not specify the number or location of the wounds. He declined further comment and deferred to state police and the Centre County District Attorney’s Office.

Trooper Joseph Dunsmore, a public information officer with state police at Hollidaysburg, said the department could not share details about the gunshot wounds because of a “pretty lengthy and involved investigation.” District Attorney Bernie Cantorna also declined to comment, citing the pending investigation by state police.

The fatal shooting was the first in the State College Police Department’s century-long history, borough police Lt. Greg Brauser said.

Borough police were attempting to serve a mental health warrant on Osagie when an officer opened fire in the man’s Old Boalsburg Road apartment, State College police Chief John Gardner has said. The officer fired after Osagie brandished a knife, did not obey commands to drop the weapon and “came after the officers,” according to search warrant paperwork filed by state police at Rockview.

Four spent 9 mm casings, a stun gun and a bullet fragment were among the items seized from the apartment in the Marvin Gardens complex, according to the warrant filing. Osagie was pronounced dead at the scene.

The involved borough officers were placed on administrative leave — in line with borough police policy — pending the outcome of the investigation, Gardner has said. Osagie was an African-American.

Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna provides updates on the March 20, 2019 shooting in State College. He said there will be a "thorough and complete, independent investigation" into Osaze Osagie's death.

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Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Lock Haven University.


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