Valdosta Daily Times

Top News

December 23, 2012

Motive sought in Pa. slayings of 3; gunman killed

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. — The shooting of a man who went on a rampage in central Pennsylvania, killing two neighbors and a third person before wounding three state troopers during a gunbattle, was a justifiable homicide, authorities ruled Saturday.

Investigators are still trying to figure out what set off the gunman, identified as 44-year-old Jeffrey Lee Michael of Geeseytown, a tiny village about 70 miles west of Harrisburg, the state capital.

“We’re not sure of the motive. We’ll be trying to find out by talking to people who knew him, see if he gave any indication,” Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio said of the violence, which began Friday morning in Frankstown Township and spanned five separate crime scenes across a 1.5-mile area.

Authorities said Michael knew his two male victims, who were related to each other, but investigators do not yet know whether he knew the third, a woman who was slain while decorating a church hall for a children’s Christmas party.

Michael fired into the Juniata Valley Gospel Church from outside, then entered the church and fired again, killing Kimberly Scott, 58, of Duncansville, State Police Sgt. Gregory Bernard said.

Either shortly before or after that, Kenneth Lynn, 60, a neighbor of Michael’s, was shot in the driveway of his home, authorities said.

Bernard said Michael drove his pickup truck along rural Juniata Valley Road and intentionally rammed another pickup driven by Lynn’s son-in-law, 38-year-old William Rhodes Jr. Rhodes died of blunt force trauma from the crash and from a gunshot wound, police said.

Michael was leaving the area in his truck when he saw two state police cars heading his way, and he opened fire as he was passing them, police said. One round went through the windshield of one of the patrol cars, and a trooper was injured in the face by flying glass and possibly a graze from the bullet, they said.

Both troopers turned around and pursued the suspect, and a third patrol car arrived and tried to block the path of the pickup, which rammed the car head-on, injuring the trooper driving, police said. One of the other patrol cars then rammed the back of the suspect’s truck, and a gunfight with the first two troopers ensued. One was hit in the chest and wrist.

“His body armor saved his life,” Bernard said.

The suspect was struck by police gunfire and was pronounced dead at the scene. The three troopers were treated at a hospital but are expected to be all right, authorities said.

The district attorney’s office classified Michael’s death as a justifiable homicide and said it would not pursue criminal charges against the troopers.

Police have not released information about the weapon or weapons used by Michael. Bernard said police had had some contact with Michael but declined to go into detail.

“We’ve had other incidents, but nothing to this extent,” the sergeant said. Online court records show no criminal record for him in Pennsylvania or in the state’s federal courts.

 

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Stowaway teen forces review of airport security

    A 15-year-old boy found his way onto an airport’s tarmac and climbed into a jetliner’s wheel well, then flew for five freezing hours to Hawaii — a misadventure that forced authorities to take a hard look at the security system that protects the nation’s airline fleet.

    April 22, 2014

  • South Korea Ship Sink_Rich copy.jpg Death count in ferry sinking tops 100

    One by one, coast guard officers carried the newly arrived bodies covered in white sheets from a boat to a tent on the dock of this island, the first step in identifying a sharply rising number of corpses from a South Korean ferry that sank nearly a week ago.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP520422034 copy.jpg Today in History for Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    Today is Tuesday, April 22, the 112th day of 2014. There are 253 days left in the year.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commission to vote to purchase new computers

    Lowndes County commissioners discussed replacing outdated computers, a bid for an emergency bypass pump, an annexation request from the City of Hahira, a juvenile justice grant application, and an appointment to the dangerous dog board.

    April 22, 2014

  • KLVB receives Governor’s Circle Recognition Award

    Keep Lowndes/Valdosta Beautiful received the Governor’s Circle Award. These inaugural, statewide awards were presented by Gov. Nathan Deal at the State Capitol .

    April 22, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum reviews ‘The Art Forger’

     “Fascinating” is the word to describe the world of art forgery as revealed by guest reviewer Laura Hughes to Readers’ Forum.

    April 22, 2014

  • Immigration _Rich copy.jpg DHS secretary re-evaluating deportation priorities

    Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Wednesday he’s re-evaluating the Obama administration’s deportation priorities to make certain they’re focused on national security, public safety and border security, amid growing pressure from the Latino community and President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats. 

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rethinking Pot 420_Rich copy.jpg Public smoke-out marks pot holiday in Colorado

    Tens of thousands of revelers raised joints, pipes and vaporizer devices to the sky Sunday at a central Denver park in a defiant toast to the April 20 pot holiday, a once-underground celebration that stepped into the mainstream in the first state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Submarine Sleep Sched_Rich copy.jpg Navy OKs changes for submariners’ sleep schedules

    With no sunlight to set day apart from night on a submarine, the U.S. Navy for decades has staggered sailors’ working hours on schedules with little resemblance to life above the ocean’s surface.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • South Korea Ship Sink_Rich copy.jpg Grim work for families as more bodies discovered

    There are no names listed as relatives huddle around signboards to identify bodies from a sunken ferry. Just the slimmest of clues about mostly young lives now lost. Many favored hoodies and track pants. One girl painted her fingernails red and toenails black. Another had braces on her teeth.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results