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HONESDALE – Wayne County District Attorney Patrick Robinson today ruled the shooting death of James Sorrentino by PA State Police outside his Balsam Swamp Road home in Prompton on June 25 was legally justified.
DA Robinson said he reviewed the report prepared by the PA State Police and an independent investigative report by the chief county detective to arrive at his ruling. “I reach this finding being fully aware that James A. Sorrentino suffered from severe mental health issues. However, it must be understood that family members, neighbors, innocent bystanders and police officers shot by a person with mental health issues are just as dead as those victims shot by people without mental health issues.”
Sorrentino’s relatives called 911 early Monday morning, June 25, with a report that he had threatened them and discharged a weapon. State Police arrived on scene after 2 am and attempted to negotiate with Sorrentino to surrender.
However, he refused to cooperate, moving in and out of the house and pointing weapons at the troopers on numerous occasions. The officers refrained from firing until approximately 7:15 am, when Sorrentino loaded the magazine of an assault rifle on the front port, raised the weapon and fired on the State Troopers, who had formed a perimeter.
Three troopers fired a total of four shots, one of which hit Sorrentino in the neck. He was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was hurt. A search warrant later revealed more than 20 weapons in the home.
The troopers who discharged their weapons had been on administrative leave since the incident.
DA Robinson said, “The State Police acted appropriately in this case and in fact they showed great restraint throughout this entire incident. I sympathize with the family of James A. Sorrentino. The Sorrentino family was extremely cooperative throughout this entire investigation. This was obviously a terrible but unavoidable outcome.”