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Pennsylvania Shooter Found Dead in Home

Pennsylvania Shooter Found Dead in Home

The AP via YellowBrix

January 14, 2010

Pennsylvania state police believe a man fatally ambushed a state trooper responding to a domestic dispute, and also killed his wife before turning the gun on himself, investigators said Wednesday.

Lt. Col. Lenny Bandy said a man police couldn’t see yelled from a window as two troopers responded to a dispute at the home of Michael J. Smith, 44, shortly after 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

When the troopers yelled back for the man to present himself, a man they believe is Smith instead fired one shot, striking Trooper Paul G. Richey as he attempted to enter a side door, according to Bandy.

“Trooper Richey did not have a chance to defend himself,” Bandy said at a news conference Wednesday night. “He was ambushed.”

Penn. State Trooper Fatally Shot at Domestic

A second trooper radioed for backup and other troopers responded and fired multiple shots at the house to provide cover for crews to remove Richey’s body from the scene. The trooper was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The shooting prompted a precautionary manhunt because, although troopers believed Smith and his wife remained in the residence, they could not be sure of that at the time, Bandy said.

By 6:15 p.m., authorities were satisfied that it was likely that the suspect was in the home and they entered to find Smith and his wife, 53-year-old Nancy Smith, both dead of gunshot wounds, police said. Although ballistic and autopsy results are still pending, Bandy said it’s most likely that Smith killed the trooper and his wife before killing himself.

Police don’t know if Smith killed his wife before or after he killed the trooper, Bandy said.

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