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Family Searching for Answers After Son is Shot by Troopers

CANAAN TOWNSHIP — State troopers responded to a frantic 911 call near Waymart Monday night and investigators say Derek DeGroat, 21, is dead after he was s...

CANAAN TOWNSHIP -- State troopers responded to a frantic 911 call near Waymart Monday night and investigators say Derek DeGroat, 21, is dead after he was shot by those three troopers.

DeGroat's family wants answers.

There was heavy police presence at the scene of that deadly shooting on Volunteer Way near Waymart.

In the daylight, there is relatively no sign of a deadly shooting involving state police at the DeGroat family home.

According to investigators, a family member called 911, saying Derek DeGroat was suicidal. His family says the Pennsylvania National Guardsman was distraught over his girlfriend and said he'd kill himself.

"I want people to know that Derek wasn't this type of person," said Derek's father Michael DeGroat. "Derek was about helping other people."

Michael DeGroat says his son loved his country and didn't deserve to die at the hands of state police.

A search warrant indicates troopers told DeGroat to drop his weapons and when he spun towards them, they fired. Court papers show two rifles and a shotgun were found near DeGroat.

"I think it was a seed planted in their minds that he could be dangerous. His girlfriend told them that if the police showed up, he was going to kill them. That's just not true."

DeGroat's mother showed us her son's dog tags. Now his family must wait to find out if troopers were justified in taking Derek DeGroat's life.

"Derek wouldn't harm anybody and I really feel it was excessive force. I want answers, the truth. Derek didn't deserve this."

An autopsy on Derek DeGroat is scheduled for Wednesday.

The Wayne County district attorney says the three troopers who were involved in the deadly shooting are on leave until the investigation is complete. They can't be interviewed for another two days per state police regulations.

A news conference is scheduled for Wednesday.