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Crime and Law Enforcement

Updated: One Man Dead In Shooting Involving State College Police

Police Chief Gardner at a podium
Anne Danahy


State College police fatally shot a man in an apartment on Old Boalsburg Road Wednesday while attempting to serve a mental health warrant. The case has been turned over to Pennsylvania state police.

“I stand before you with a heavy heart to provide you with a statement regarding a 29-year-old African-American male who died in a police-involved shooting today," State College Police Chief John Gardner said during a press conference Wednesday.

The man who died, Osaze Osagie, was the subject of the mental health warrant being served at the Marvin Gardens Apartments on the 1000 block of Old Boalsburg Road, next to Easterly Parkway.

“The involved officer have been placed on administrative leave as per department policy pending a final resolution to this investigation," Gardner said.

Police said no one else was injured, but provided few other details.

State College borough manager Tom Fountaine called it a sad and tragic day.

“Our thoughts, our sympathies, our heartfelt sympathies are with the victim’s family, and also we continue to have the officers and their families in our thoughts and prayers as well,” Fountaine said.

Fountaine emphasized the investigation will be independent and transparent.

According to WJAC, which obtained the search warrant, a father told police he was worried about his son, Osagie, who “had been acting erratically for a couple of weeks and could possibly be off his medication.” The father reportedly showed police text messages making threats.

According to the report, when police arrived at the apartment, Osagie “confronted officers with a knife and ignored commands to drop it.” Osagie then came after the officers, who shot him.

Police truck outside apartment building
Credit Anne Danahy / WPSU
A State College Police truck outside the Marvin Gardens Apartments on Old Boalsburg Road in State College after a shooting Wednesday, March 20, 2019. The case has been turned over to state police.

The death comes not long after a shooting, which started at P.J. Harrigan’s Bar & Grill in January, left four people, including the shooter, dead.

“As you know this community has been rocked the past six weeks by incidents that are unfathomable for this community, and for that, my heart goes out to all those victims,” Gardner said.

The case was turned over to the Pennsylvania state police, along with the Centre County District Attorney’s office.

Two nearby schools -- Easterly Parkway Elementary and the Delta Program -- went into lockdown briefly during the incident.

A vigil for Osagie is planned for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Allen Street Gates in State College.

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