Hollidaysburg, PA – On Friday December 21, a man shot a woman decorating a church hall for a children’s Christmas party and two other men elsewhere. The gunman was also killed in a shootout with state troopers after he rammed his vehicle head on into a police car.
The gunman fired at state troopers in patrol cars as he drove past. Three troopers were injured during the pursuit. One trooper, who also had a wrist injury, was hit in the chest with a bullet but was wearing a bulletproof vest which saved him.
State police are still trying to put together a time line of events and a motive to the shooting. Yahoo News reports that Lt. Col. George Bivens, the Deputy State Police Commissioner said, “It’s going to take us some time to put this all together … and know exactly what occurred.”
Police are investigating five crime scenes: the church, the home and ground around a home, the crash site where another victim was killed, the site where the gunman opened fire on the troopers, and the site where the final encounter occurred after the truck collided with the police cars. The shooting spree started in Frankstown Townhip, a rural town in PA, around 9 am when troopers were responding to a 911 call of a shooting. Then, they heard calls reporting additional shootings according to Seattle PI.
Family members of the church woman shot say authorities told them she was the first victim according to Yahoo News. One man was shot at his residence, and another man was shot at the crash site. Then, the gunman shot two men in the driveway of a home after a confrontation at a stop sign.
The woman who was shot was decorating the hall at Juniata Valley Gospel Church. According Yahoo News, the Rev. James McCaulley said bullets ripped through the window and then the gunman entered. He shot one of the two women in the hall.
Investigators believe the victims were random and have not released the names of the victims or shooter, only saying the shooter lived in Blair County.