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GREENSBURG (KDKA) – The man accused of killing a St. Clair Township police officer took the stand in his own defense Wednesday afternoon.

Ray Shelter Jr., 33, is on trial at the Greensburg County Courthouse in the Nov. 28, 2015, murder of Officer Lloyd Reed.

Officer Reed lost his life as he responded to a domestic dispute.

During his testimony, Shetler said he heard someone yelling at him to “put the gun down.”

“No sooner than I moved, gunfire erupted. I was scatterbrained, I just started running…I just was running for my life,” Shetler said.

When it was the prosecution’s opportunity to cross examine Shetler, Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck went after Shetler’s contention that he had no way of realizing a police officer might be arriving at the Ligonier Street residence.

Peck got Shetler to admit he was trying to kill whoever was shooting at him. Peck then asked why Shetler ran when his girlfriend was still in danger of getting shot.

Peck: “Weren’t you concerned about her [Kristin Luther]?”

Shetler: “He was focusing on me.”

Peck: “But didn’t you tell a trooper ‘at that time it was every man for himself?'”

When pressed about firing at Officer Reed, Shetler said he shot from the hip.

Following his testimony, the defense rested.

Earlier in the day, the prosecution rested and the defense called Shetler’s girlfriend, Kristin Luther, as its first witness.

The defense has already said they will prove that Shetler shot Officer Reed in self-defense, which they addressed immediately with Luther.

Luther made the 911 call that set the tragedy in motion. In it, she can be heard screaming that Shetler was assaulting her and threatening her. She is later heard crying that a police officer had been shot.

KDKA-TV’s Ross Guidotti reports from the courtroom that, on the stand, Luther is painting a “rosy” picture of her relationship with Shetler during initial questioning by defense attorneys.

Luther also testified that she believes Officer Reed was the first to shoot, firing at Shetler as he ran away from the scene. She maintains Shetler only fired back because his gun happened to fall into his hands from his shoulder.

Forensic evidence is expected to prove that Shetler shot Officer Reed first, and that a responding police officer was the one who shot Shetler.

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