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Earl Pinckney, 20
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
August 07, 2016

Agencies: Harrisburg Police Bureau Pennsylvania | Dauphin County District Attorney's Office Pennsylvania

Last updated: 2 months ago

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According to Harrisburg police, 20 year-old Earl Pinckney (aka Leek Moss) was shot and killed while holding a knife to his mother’s throat, facts disputed by Pinckney's mother.

Hundreds of people gathered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to demand answers on the night of the shooting outside the home where he was shot.

The young man was pronounced dead shortly after being shot. The Harrisburg police officer who shot Leek Moss has been placed on administrative leave with full pay.

A women who identified herself as the mother of Moss’ child was prevented from seeing him, and police declined to answer her questions about what happened. Harrisburg Police Chief Thomas Carter arrived on the seen but also refused to tell upset residents what had happened.

Police claim that when Leek Moss refused to drop the knife after being ordered, his mother tried to pull away and one of the four officers in the room opened fire, fatally wounding the young man.

The mother of Pinckney, Kim Thomas, disputed the police version of the events, saying her son was bipolar and that she was in the process of defusing a family argument. She said police knew her son was bipolar but not dangerous.

“They killed my son. They shot my son,” Thomas told Pennlive.com. “We had a little fight, argument, like families have arguments.”

Thomas said her son, his sister and her niece were arguing. “They were arguing. They got a little rustling,” Thomas said. “I stopped it. I told everybody to get out of the house. I held my son. I was talking to my son. I know how to control my son. He was calming down. Everything was getting fine.”

Thomas denied that her son was holding a knife, and she showed her neck to reporters revealing no marks or bruises. She, however, showed reporters a rug burn on her knees that she claimed resulted from police officers’ efforts to forcibly remove Thomas from her home.

Marques Thomas, Moss' older brother, told Pennlive.com that more than a dozen police descended on the house, entering the home as well as climbing onto the porch roof. Thomas reported that police shot Earl through a window before ever entering the bedroom.