Pennsylvania State Police are investigating a shooting incident by Springettsbury Township officers.
Pennsylvania State Police are investigating a shooting incident by Springettsbury Township officers. (John A. Pavoncello)

A lawyer representing a North York man fatally shot Saturday evening by Springettsbury Township Police said he'd never seen an aggressive side to Todd William Shultz.

But that doesn't mean one didn't exist, said Korey Leslie, who was representing the 40-year-old Shultz on charges of fleeing or attempting to elude police, reckless driving and driving without a license or registration. Leslie said he'd also represented Shultz on an older case as well.

"He was meek, mild-mannered -- he was scared of punishment and consequences," Leslie said of Shultz. "I never found him to be aggressive in his demeanor or the way he spoke. ... But if he had a weapon, then obviously he was acting in a way that I'd never seen or could imagine.

Springettsbury Township Police were involved in a shooting at the Kmart on Haines Road Saturday.
Springettsbury Township Police were involved in a shooting at the Kmart on Haines Road Saturday. (John A. Pavoncello photo)

Shultz criminal history includes past drug charges, Leslie said, adding he has no idea if drugs fueled Saturday's fatal encounter.

"It's just horrible," the attorney said. "It's horrible for him and his family, and it's horrible for the officers who were put in that position. It's just sad."

Chief's position: Springettsbury Township Police Chief Thomas Hyers said officers acted appropriately when they fatally shot a North York man Saturday night outside of a Kmart.

"I'm very confident officers used the appropriate amount of force," Hyers said.

The chief came to that conclusion after viewing footage of the incident captured by a dashboard-mounted camera in a police cruiser.

Shultz, of the 300 block of East Fifth Avenue, was shot by two officers outside the Kmart at 1094 Haines Road just before 7 p.m. Saturday, according to state police.

He was transported to York Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:40 p.m., York County Deputy Coroner Steve Cosey said.

Hyers said the incident is tragic for all those involved, including Shultz's family and friends, police officers and township residents.

Theft report: Four township police officers were called to the store for a report of a man armed with a knife who was stealing jewelry, state police said.

Inside the store, Shultz fought with officers trying to arrest him.

Officers tried to subdue Shultz with a stun gun, but he was unaffected and continued to fight with officers as he made his way outside, where he pulled a knife, said police.

Knife: Shultz ignored officers' commands to drop the knife and began advancing toward them as he made slashing motions with the knife, police said. He then moved toward the store entrance, where numerous employees and customers were still inside, according to police.

Two officers fired multiple rounds and struck Shultz to stop him from going back inside the store, police said.

Hyers said Shultz put shoppers in harm's way and that the situation could have gotten worse if Shultz had been able to get back inside.

No one else was hurt, police said.

Investigation: State police are investigating the shooting at the request of York County District Attorney Tom Kearney. That's standard protocol in York County for officer-involved shootings.

The names of the officers involved in the shooting will not be released at this time, Hyers said.

An autopsy was to be performed on Shultz at Allentown's Lehigh Valley Hospital on Monday, Cosey said.

'Fortunate': The officers involved in the shooting have been put on paid administrative leave, Hyers said.

Counselors are available not only to them, but also to the entire department and officers' families, Hyers said.

With a number of a retail stores in the township, officers respond to numerous shoplifting incidents. Between Dec. 5 and Dec. 18 alone, officers were called to 27 different shoplifting incidents at township businesses.

When officers respond to a call, even a seemingly routine report of shoplifting, they never know what they will find once on the scene, Hyers said.

"The officers (involved were) very fortunate to go home to their families," he said.