The Criminal Investigation Division of the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office is conducting an investigation of a police involved shooting that occurred at approximately 1:35 a.m. this morning across from Row 34 in the Hall Manor Housing Area in the City of Harrisburg. Albert Earl Morton, Jr., age 31, whose photograph is shown here, was shot and killed. The Dauphin County Coroner has scheduled an autopsy for tomorrow morning. Because the investigation is in the very early stages, I can only give you basic facts based on our preliminary inquiry.
At 12:45 a.m., Harrisburg Police made a traffic stop of a vehicle driven by Mr. Morton in the 1400 block of Vernon Street. During the stop, the driver fled, striking the police officer who made the stop. The officer was not injured by the striking. At 1:30 a.m., Harrisburg Police units observed the same vehicle that had fled the traffic stop. As the marked police cars followed, the occupants threw drugs and drug paraphernalia out of the moving car. The car was stopped in Hall Manor and the passenger fled on foot. The driver, Albert Morton, was shot and killed as the vehicle accelerated toward a uniformed Harrisburg Police officer.
At the time of the apparent flight from police, Mr. Morton was the subject of an active arrest warrant for a residential burglary. We have charged the passenger in the vehicle, Arthur L. Brothers, Jr. with possession of cocaine base, possession of drug paraphernalia and tampering with physical evidence. As these are just charges of criminal conduct, Mr. Brothers is presumed innocent.
The District Attorney’s Office will conduct a comprehensive review of this use of deadly force. The focus of the investigation will be whether Mr. Morton’s use of the moving vehicle as a weapon justified the use of deadly force by the police officer. I hope that the media will respect the privacy of the Morton family during their time of grief.