UPDATE | Prompton man killed in standoff with police

UPDATE: The Wayne County coroner says James Sorrentino's cause of death was a gunshot wound to the neck. The manner of death is homicide.


ORIGINAL STORY: 36-year-old James Sorrentino was shot and killed Monday morning following a nearly five-hour long standoff with police.

State Police say Sorrentino fired a shotgun at his mother and brother around 2 a.m. at their home on Balsam Swamp Road in Prompton, Wayne County.

The two family members were not hurt.

Wayne County District Attorney Patrick Robinson says Sorrentino refused to cooperate with troopers throughout the morning as they tried to negotiate with him to surrender.

Next-door neighbor Mary Thomas described hearing the negotiations in the early hours: "They said 'come out of the house please, we do not want to hurt you. We just want you to come out of the house'."

Wayne County authorities say during the standoff, Sorrentino came in and out of the house, flaunting weapons at police.

Police say there were multiple rifles in the house, including AR-15's.

At 7:15 am Sorrentino fired at police, and they responded, killing him.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by the county coroner.

Three troopers are currently on paid administrative leave, standard protocol while the investigation continues.

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"It is my belief that the Pennsylvania State Police used great restraint. I have no reason to believe it was not justified," said Robinson.

According to legal papers, Sorrentino struggled with bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia, and was released from the hospital last week.

Family says he'd been acting strange lately, breaking things in the house, and threatening to kill them.

He'd also been refusing to take his medication.

"It's an unfortunate situation for the Sorrentino family. I'm just happy that my troopers that were out on the scene were all coming home safely and brought this unfortunate situation to an end," said Captain Sherman Shadle, Troop R.

"This is an extremely sad situation for the Sorrentino family and our prayers and condolences go out to them," Robinson said.

Police are still investigating whether Sorrentino was legally allowed to be in possession of a firearm, and who the guns belonged to.

They say he has no criminal record.

If anyone has any information concerning this investigation, they are asked to call the PA State Police at Honesdale at 570-253-7126.

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