State Police said Mercer county trooper shot and killed a man during a struggle that began when the officer began questioning the suspect about tampering with the officer's personal vehicle and his cruiser.

Senior Trooper B.D. Gillespie shot Timothy Hill two times, fatally wounding him Thursday night, according to a news release from State Police.

Gillespie was awakened by his wife who said there were three men in their driveway, tampering with their personal vehicle and her husband's cruiser.

State Police said Gillespie, wearing his uniform and driving his cruiser, began looking for the men and saw three suspects walking in the roadway about a quarter mile from his house.

Police said the three men gave conflicting stories about what happened at Gillespie's residence, and Hill became belligerent and refused to comply with commands to put his hands behind his back to be patted down, the release said.

State Police said Hill then began to fight with the trooper, and the officer sprayed the suspect and struck him with a closed baton.

During the struggle, State Police said, the trooper and Hill fell to the ground, and Hill got on top of the officer.

A nearby resident witnessed the fight and went to help the trooper.

All three men rolled into a deep culvert, where Hill attempted to disarm the officer, the release said.

State Police said the officer was able to get control of his handgun and fatally wounded the suspect

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