WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. — The Westmoreland County district attorney’s office has announced that no charges will be filed in a fatal 2019 shooting in Jeannette.
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A press release said that the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of Mariell McGowan have been thoroughly investigated by the Westmoreland County Detective Bureau and the Jeanette Police Department.
District Attorney Nicole Ziccarelli said investigators found that the person who shot and killed McGowan was at his own home with his family, when he learned that McGowan and two other men were coming to his residence armed, and to do him harm. The resident also knew that McGowan and others with him had participated in an armed home invasion and brutal assault of another man earlier that evening.
Ziccarelli said the investigation showed that the resident repeatedly told the armed men not to come to his home and that there were children in the residence, but that they came to his home anyway.
Investigators determined that the resident feared for his life and shot McGowan outside of the home.
In the press release, Ziccarelli said that the castle doctrine is the law in Pennsylvania, and that Pennsylvanians have the right to use deadly force in their homes, and in threatening situations outside their homes. There is also no longer a requirement that people try to retreat before using deadly force in such situations.
“While I am deeply sorry for Mariell McGowan’s family’s loss,” Ziccarelli said in the release, “I made a commitment to the people of Westmoreland County to make decisions based on the law, and not emotions. I have done so in this case.”
Ziccarelli ended the release by saying she considers the matter closed.
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