Man Who Shot Deputy Left Suicide Note
County Sheriff’s Deputy Kyle Pagerly with his partner Jynx in in Sinking Spring, Pa. Pagerly died in a shootout Wednesday night as law enforcement officials tried to serve a warrant. [AP]
Wilkes Barre-Times Leader via YellowBrix
July 05, 2011
BERKS COUNTY, PA – The Berks County man suspected of shooting and killing a deputy sheriff Wednesday night left a suicide note in his yard two days before heading into surrounding woods and getting into a fatal shootout with officers, court records say.
State police in Hamburg identified the deputy sheriff as 28-year-old Kyle D. Pagerly and the suspect as Matthew M. Connor, 25, of 26 Pine Swamp Road in the Kempton section of Albany Township.
A fugitive task force was attempting to serve a warrant on Connor, who two days earlier threatened his father, his sister, girlfriend and another guest at his family’s home, firing several rounds from two different guns into the ground in front of them, according to court records.
When the task force arrived, Connor — armed with an AK-47 assault rifle — ran into the woods and fired at the pursuing officers, leading to a shootout near Hawk Mountain Road around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Connor was killed at the scene. Pagerly was wounded and flown by helicopter to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest. He was dead on arrival, Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim said.
Pagerly, of Shillington, was pronounced dead at 8:44 p.m. Wednesday from a gunshot wound to the body, Grim said. The manner of death was ruled homicide.
Two days before the shootout, Connor had said he wouldn’t go down quietly.
According to an arrest affidavit:
Connor shot at the ground in front of his family members, threatening them, “Yeah, you better run,” according to court records. At one point, Connor put a revolver to his mouth “acting as if he was going to shoot himself in front of his family,” the records say.
Upset that he ran out of ammunition from a revolver and a handgun, Connor went back into the family’s house and retrieved a bulletproof vest and a shotgun, which he fired several times before heading into the woods.
Connor’s father, Maurice Connor, told police his son had acted this way before. “He has threatened in the past to want to provoke the police so they would shoot him, suicide by cop,” according to an affidavit of probable cause filed Tuesday.
According to a news release from state police, a fugitive task force made up of members of the Berks County Sheriff’s Office, state police from the Hamburg barracks and the federal marshals service tried to serve an arrest warrant on Connor for burglary, criminal trespass, simple assault, terroristic threats, recklessly endangerment and a weapons charge for illegally possessing, selling or transferring firearms.
When the task force arrived, they were speaking to Connor’s girlfriend when Connor ran out of the back of the house into the woods. Members of the detail followed him into the woods. Pagerly, a K-9 officer, came upon a rise in the terrain and Connor came up over the rise armed with an AK-47. State police said Connor ignored an order to drop the weapon, and gunfire was exchanged.
The news release from state police does not specify which officers discharged their weapons. The investigation is ongoing, and state police have scheduled a news conference for 1 p.m. today at the Reading station.
Court records show state police in Hamburg filed a criminal complaint against Connor on Tuesday, charging him with burglary, criminal trespass, persons not to use fire arms, three counts of terroristic threats, four counts of simple assault and four counts of recklessly endangering another person. Trooper Matthew S. Brady from the Hamburg barracks filed the complaint.
State police said the charges stem from incidents that occurred Monday at his home at 26 Pine Swamp Road and at a nearby residence at 43 Pine Swamp Road. Berks County tax records show both properties are owned by Maurice L. Connor and include one-story homes. The property at 25 Pine Swamp Road contains about 12.5 acres and the property at 43 Pine Swamp Road is nearly a quarter acre in size.
The Berks County Sheriff’s Department website, says Pagerly was born in Reading and graduated in 2001 from Wilson High School in West Lawn, Berks County.
Berks County Sheriffs K9 Unit at the 2010 Water Safety Festival at Blue Marsh Lake in Reading