Police: Drexel Hill Driver Killed After Trying To Run Over Officers

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DREXEL HILL, Pa. – A Clifton Heights man was shot and killed by police in Drexel Hill on Tuesday afternoon after police tried to serve a warrant for terroristic threats.

That man has been identified by police as 52-year-old Joseph Pacini.  

According to police, Pacini had been making threats on social media to kill police and FBI officials. Haverford Police had obtained a warrant for his arrest in relation to his online threats, and were attempting to serve it on Tuesday afternoon.

SWAT teams were on the way to Pacini’s apartment, when Pacini left his apartment around 4:00 p.m. Clifton Police followed him from his home into Upper Darby. CHPD then attempted to make a felony traffic stop and take Pacini into custody.

Clifton Heights police called the Haverford Police and Upper Darby Police for assistance with the stop. Both departments responded to the request and officers were able to box Pacini into the driveway of a bank.

Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said in a press conference Tuesday night, that officers then told Pacini he was under arrest and tried to move in on the vehicle.

According to police, Pacini then put his car into reverse, smashing into the car of the Clifton Heights police chief.

Police say Pacini then used his vehicle as a weapon, attempting to run over officers from the three departments.

A total of 5 officers then opened fire on the vehicle, striking Pacini several times, and killing him.

Superintendent Chitwood said Tuesday that Pacini’s body was at the medical examiner’s office, and an autopsy would likely take place on Wednesday.

Police believe Pacini suffered from and undisclosed mental illness, and he had been arrested twice before Tuesday’s incident.

One of the previous arrests came back in 2005 Pacini was arrested and charged with recklessly endangering another person, false imprisonment, and terroristic threats.

The officer’s involved in the shooting are being interviewed by the District Attorney’s office, and the incident is still under investigation.


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