BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) — New details are emerging as police continue to investigate a shooting spree that left several people dead and three state police troopers injured Friday morning in Central Pennsylvania.
The incident started at a small church in Frankstown Township in Blair County, which is near Altoona. When it was over, three state troopers had to be hospitalized for injuries.
Police are investigating five crime scenes along Juniata Valley Road in Hollidaysburg.
According to investigators, a woman was killed in a church, a man in a residence and another man at the scene of a car crash. The suspect has been identified as Jeffrey Lee Michael of Hollidaysburg.
The motive is unclear.
That’s were police say Jeffery Lee Michael went on a killing spree, murdering a woman in a church, a man in a residence and another man at the scene of a car crash. The motive is unclear.
“That is part of the investigation,” said Trooper Jeffrey Petucci, of Pennsylvania State Police. “It’s too early to say as far as what the motive was. At this point in time, it’s too early to say that.”
The order of the shootings is not known at this point, but police say the suspect – who was in a truck – then fired at two passing police cruisers that were responding to the area around 9 a.m.
State police say he then rammed into a third police car head-on before getting out of his truck and opening fire on the troopers.
Two troopers were hit with gunfire. State police say one of the state troopers was struck by two bullets; one hit his bulletproof vest and the other hit his wrist. The other was injured by shattered glass and shrapnel. A third trooper was injured in the car crash.
All three were treated and released from Altoona Hospital.
“I think we have three very fortunate state police members tonight,” said Lt. Col. George Bivens, of the Pennsylvania State Police. “We’re very thankful for the fact they survived this attack. It was a very violent attack.”
According to state police, the suspect was shot and killed when the troopers at the scene returned gunfire.
The victim’s names have not been officially released and police are not saying what relationship, if any, there may have been between them and the suspect.
The Blair County District Attorney is also involved in the investigation.
A vigil for the victims is being planned at 7 p.m. at the Geeseytown Lutheran Church.