CLEARFIELD — Christopher Kanouff, 48, of Clearfield, was killed at 2:50 a.m. Thursday after a lengthy police incident in Clearfield County.
Clearfield-based state police said the incident involved Kanouff pointing a handgun at officers, threatening to shoot citizens, barricading himself inside his apartment and coming out pointing his gun at officers.
At about 6 p.m. on Wednesday, two Clearfield Borough police officers conducted a traffic stop in the 300 block of Daisy Street in Clearfield. Kanouff was the driver of the vehicle, which displayed an expired registration plate and was suspended due to insurance cancellation.
According to state police, the officers determined Kanouff had an active Pennsylvania State Probation/Parole warrant and removed Kanouff from the vehicle. Kanouff pulled away and the officers observed a black semi-automatic handgun in the waistband of his pants. The officers issued verbal commands and instructed Kanouff to lower down to his knees at gunpoint, the state police alleged.
Kanouff ignored these commands and began to flee East on Daisy Street on foot, state police indicated. During the foot pursuit Kanouff pointed his firearm at the pursuing officers several times. Police from neighboring jurisdictions responded, including troopers from PSP Clearfield.
Kanouff was located at 802 Daisy St., where he had barricaded himself in his apartment. Verbal contact was made with Kanouff, however, he refused to exit the building, police allege.
A perimeter was established around the apartment building utilizing local police officers and troopers from Troop C, Clearfield. At this point, residents of the apartment complex were evacuated by law enforcement for their safety, state police reported.
Elements from the Pennsylvania State Police Special Emergency Response Team (PSP SERT) were requested and responded to the scene.
Criminal charges for Kanouff were prepared, to include two felony counts of aggravated assault, and an arrest warrant was obtained for Kanouff.
State police said Kanouff made threats to shoot citizens along the street during the standoff, and police instructed him several times to exit the apartment building peacefully, with negative results.
Subsequently, PSP SERT deployed chemical agents into Kanouff’s apartment, at which time he was able to break into an unoccupied adjacent apartment. Chemical agents were then deployed into that apartment. Kanouff exited his apartment with the handgun, refused to follow commands from PSP SERT and pointed his firearm at police, state police alleged.
At approximately 2:50 a.m. on Thursday, Kanouff was shot by police and was pronounced dead on scene, state police said.