FORWARD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — One man is dead and the nephew accused of breaking into his home is in the hospital after a lengthy and tense standoff with police Wednesday afternoon in Forward Township.
Allegheny County Police Superintendent Charles Moffatt said the incident began early Wednesday afternoon when the homeowner called 911.
The medical examiner identified the victim as 68 year old Harrison Shaffer. He lived alone in his home.
Rev. Ronald Doran, holding back tears, described Shaffer as his best friend.
“He was an usher in our church, well liked and quiet,” said Doran.
According to police, Shaffer was found dead in the living room area of the two-story house.
“Inside of the house is one deceased,” said Allegheny County Police Superintendent Charles Moffatt. “The person who we believe to be the shooter had one gunshot wound; it appears to be to the chest. He was treated by a doctor at the scene and then taken out to medics to be taken to a hospital to be treated.”
Shaffer’s nephew, identified as 47-year-old Billy Joe Richter, barged into his uncle’s home on Pine Avenue in the Bunola section of the township, around 1:15 p.m., reportedly looking for money.
State police surrounded the home and troopers reportedly exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who was wounded.
“When the officers arrived they immediately came under fire from someone inside of the house. They immediately retreated, called for reinforcements,” said Moffatt.
The SWAT team was called to the scene and they reportedly fired tear gas rounds into the home.
The incident finally ended around 5:15 p.m.
No police officers were injured.
Richter was found with a gunshot wound in the chest in the kitchen when a SWAT team entered the home and took him into custody.
He was taken to Allegheny General Hospital in critical condition.
The Allegheny County Police Homicide Unit is investigating the incident.
Richter is facing a long list of charges, including homicide, burglary, criminal mischief, aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person.
He is being held in the Allegheny County Jail.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.