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Easton, PA Officer Fatally Shot During Training Exercise

The Associated Press

EASTON, Pa. - An autopsy was performed Saturday on the body of an Easton police officer fatally shot inside police headquarters during a training exercise, but authorities released few details about their investigation into the shooting.

Officer Jesse Sollman, 36, a former Marine who had worked in both the K-9 and SWAT team units, was training with another officer when he was shot Friday afternoon, authorities said.

The pair were in a room conducting SWAT team training when he was shot, said Cpl. Robert Mahady of the state police detachment in Easton, the office handling the investigation.

Sollman was the first Easton police officer killed on duty since 1930, when Luther Fisher was dragged by the wreckage of a runaway trolley car.

Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim said Saturday that the cause of death was a ``gunshot wound to the body,’' but added that he would not rule on the manner of death until an investigation is complete.

Grim said his office performed the autopsy because Sollman died at St. Luke’s Hospital in Fountain Hill, Lehigh County. The shooting took place in Northampton County.

The name of the other officer involved was not released, nor were details of how the shooting occurred.

“It would be premature for us to characterize it in any fashion” Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli told a news conference late Friday. “Merely because the state police or DA’s office is involved does not mean there’s any criminality involved in this. We need to get an objective review of what happened.”

Sollman is credited with helping rescue two people in a 1996 fire, apprehending a carjacking suspect and catching a shooting suspect in 1999.

He was also one of four Easton officers sued over a 1997 Thanksgiving Day melee on the Easton-Phillipsburg toll bridge, which led to a $1.3 million verdict against the city.

Sollman, who lived in Washington Township, is survived by his wife Carin, a 6-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son.

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