BUTLER COUNTY, Pa. - Channel 11’s Amy Marcinkiewicz reported Monday that a man fatally shot by an off-duty trooper in Butler County Friday night had previous run-ins with police.
Investigators said Kristopher Barkus went to the trooper’s home on September Drive armed with an Airsoft gun, which appeared to be real.
“It looked just like a real gun. It was a replica to a Beretta. It had no markings on it whatsoever like a toy gun. It looked real,” said Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Tom Debovi.
Marcinkiewicz reported that seven minutes before the shooting, Barkus’ mother called 911 for a welfare check. The call was placed at 8:33 p.m., officials said. When police arrived on September Drive around 8:40 p.m., investigators said the shooting had already happened.
Barkus’ family told Channel 11 News that Kristopher suffered from depression. The man’s father said about a month ago, Barkus approached the trooper, who is a neighbor of the family, and asked if he could arrest him and put him in jail.
According to police records, the incident happened on May 13. Investigators said the trooper ran Barkus’ name and discovered that he had no warrants, so he could not be arrested.
“We, and especially my wife, have been dealing with this for so many years…, his health problems, trying to get him squared away,” Bob Barkus said.
Police records also indicate that on May 14, Barkus’ mother called police claiming that her son was stealing medication. Officials said she wanted her son to get help, and did not press charges.
On May 17, officials said, police were called to the Barkus’ home again for a domestic disturbance. Records said Barkus admitted to pushing his mother and brother, and was cited for harassment.
Family members said Barkus went to the trooper’s home on Friday night after another incident at their home. One of Barkus’ brothers followed him after Barkus threatened to harm himself.
Investigators said the trooper told the men to leave. Neighbors told investigators that they heard a man yelling "drop your gun, drop your gun" and then shots were fired.