Fatal police shooting to be investigated by Orange County DA, grand jury

Tanya Decker, sister of Charles Parker, who police fatally shot, was very emotional while at the scene Thursday night

GOSHEN – The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is going to take the lead in the investigation into the shooting death of Charles Parker, the 47-year-old Port Jervis man who charged at police officers in that city on Thursday night.

The DA’s office on Friday said when Parker came out of his house at 67 Railroad Avenue in Port Jervis at around 9:07 p.m., he was armed with a knife. When he refused to drop his weapon, he was tased; that failed to immobilize him and he was subsequently shot. He died at Bon Secours Community Hospital.

While the State Attorney General’s Office usually investigates police involved shootings, since this case involved an armed person, the local DA would handle it along with the State Police.

District Attorney David Hoovler said his office will conduct parallel investigations. One will consist of a grand jury review and the other will be conducted by the DA’s office.

Hoovler said he will make public a report of his office’s findings at the conclusion of the investigation.

Port Jervis Police Chief William Worden said in his opinion, “Based upon the information we have thus far, our police officers responded to a dangerous, highly volatile situation involving an armed individual suffering from what appeared to be a severe emotional disturbance. Our officers made every attempt to deescalate the situation.  Tragically, the rapidly evolving situation forced our officers to make a split-level decision to defend themselves from deadly physical force being used upon them.”

Shortly after the shooting, Parker’s sister began shouting at the officers saying they should have tased her brother before shooting. She also said he was emotionally disturbed and off his medicine because the facility that was treating him was closed due to the coronavirus.

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