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PA State Police Rule Shooting of Columbia Man Justified

More than six months after a Pennsylvania state trooper shot Daryl Berry on the turnpike, state police ruled the shooting justified.


Pennsylvania State police determined that a trooper used the appropriate level of force when he shot and killed a Columbia man in March, according to a state police spokesman.

Corporal Richard Dean told Patch on Thursday that  state police had closed the case and found that Trooper Marshall Kephart was facing an attack when he shot and killed Daryl Berry on March 6.  The shooting occurred on the turnpike in Brush Creek Township in south-central Pennsylvania.

Dean said that the Fulton County District Attorney's office, which also investigated the shooting, agreed with the state police's findings.  Fulton County DA Travis Kendall did not respond to a request for comment on Monday. Dean said the report of the police's internal investigation would not be released.

Police said Berry, 45, had attacked Kephart with a metal flashlight after releasing his two Rottweiler dogs when Kephart responded to the scene of an accident involving Berry and two tractor trailers. Police said Kephart shot Berry three times, killing him.

Since Berry's death, his mother, Dr. Joyce Hamilton Berry, of Columbia, has questioned the police's version of events. She said her son, who had a degree in electrical engineering and owned a handyman business, had no history of violence, that his dogs were not trained to be aggressive, and wondered why the situation escalated so quickly after a traffic accident. 

Police said Kephart's dashcam video recorder was malfunctioning and did not record the incident. State police declined to release information, such as 911 recordings or police reports from the incident while the case was under investigation.

In July, the coroner who conducted Daryl Berry's autoposy found that Berry had no drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of his death. A witness of the incident, Boyd Kreider, who was reportedly at the scene, told Patch he saw a struggle and that the police officer "was just doing his job."

Berry's mother said Monday police had not contacted her yet to tell her their investigation had concluded.

"As usual, they haven't notified me," said Joyce Berry. "They're not notifying me that the investigation has closed, even though I've tried to call the District Attorney, Travis Kendall, and the chief counsel of the state police to get more information."

Berry said previously she had to call the Pennsylvania State Police after she heard from her son's girlfriend that Daryl had been shot and killed to confirm that it happened.

"That's par for the course," Berry daid. "It speaks volumes about the Pennsylvania State Police. That's just the way they conduct business."

When asked if she was surprised by the Pennsylvania State Police's determination regarding her son's death, Berry said, "I did not expect them to do anything less than that."

Daryl Berry had grown up in Columbia and lived in the city before moving to Cincinnati to run his handyman business, according to his mother. When Berry was killed, he was returning to Cincinnati from Columbia where he had visited family, his mother said.

Related Articles

  • Report: No Drugs or Alcohol Found in Body of Man Killed by Trooper
  • Columbia Psychologist Questions Police Shooting of Son
  • Columbia Man Killed By Pennsylvania State Trooper
  • Trooper's Name Released in Turnpike Shooting Death
  • No Dash Cam Footage from Pennsylvania Turnpike Shooting

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B Vonn September 26, 2012 at 04:30 PM
"As usual"?? "Par for the course"?? How elitist does this 'Doctor' think she is? What does she think makes her so special that she get her own attache from a police department? It is a shame that someone so intelligent thinks she is owed something. She has already been in contact with the DA's office, which is where her news is supposed to come from. There is not a person ANYwhere who is entitled to an investigative report from a police department. She needs to adjust fire and stay on course with the office her news should come from. It is truly a shame that Mrs. Berry lost her son, but just as in any Monday-morning quarterback session, if you weren't there you can't talk about it with any authority. The best is conjecture, but in her anger she casts dispersions on an impartial police department. No police department seeks to engage 'good' people in deadly force incidents...they 'respond' to situations as they are taught. Of course she 'questions' any version that puts her baby in bad light, but since he didn't even live locally, why would she try to imply that she knows everything that goes on when he is out of her sight? I pray she finds the root of her anger and can get back on track to healing from a horrible loss without trying to drag anyone down.
MFumbc September 27, 2012 at 04:14 AM
B Vonn. GET A LIFE! Seriously, what a loser! This person was shot to death on a highway, and all you can do is talk trash on the internet, trying to sound special, when really, you are an outcast, loser with a grudge, its time for you to move on. No more of these comments jerk. GET A LIFE
Barbara Ward September 28, 2012 at 02:32 PM
There are so many questions that beg for answers. Why was the dashcam broken? Who was this witness that proclaimed that the officer was "just doing his job?" Why is information being withheld? Is there something to hide? Is a person with a flashlight a match for an officer with a gun? Why was Mr. Berry shot and not the dogs? Was there an outside source a part of the investigation? To whom do the state troopers report? By all means, Dr.Berry has every right to know the truth about her son's death. She has the right to pursue every avenue to this end. It is hoped that she does not allow haters into her space, and she will go forward toward justice. She speaks for her son and all of the other victims of similar crimes whose families cannot speak for them. Dr. Berry is to be applauded for all of her efforts. Justice will prevail!
St.Louis Woman October 02, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Thoughtless bullshit drivel.


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