PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The rifle used in the fatal shooting of a St. Clair Township police officer last weekend was recovered in a wooded area some distance from the Conemaugh River in Indiana County.
St. Clair Township Police Officer Lloyd Reed was called to a Ligonier Street house in New Florence on Saturday night because of a domestic violence incident.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Weather: Warmer Temperatures Expected Before Fall Conditions Return This Weekend
The suspect, 31-year-old Ray Shetler, confronted Officer Reed outside of the home while holding a .270-caliber rifle.
Officer Reed demanded several times that Shetler drop his weapon. However, Shetler allegedly fired three rounds from close range, which struck Officer Reed in the chest.
Officer Reed passed away from his injuries at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown.
Shetler took off on foot, but was captured after a six-hour manhunt. However, police were unable to locate the weapon.
Initially, Shetler told police he lost the rifle while crossing the Conemaugh River.READ MORE: Heavy Police Presence Gathers On South Side, Officers Seen Collecting 2 Guns
On Tuesday, police recovered the weapon close to the Conemaugh Generating Station.
“The Remington .270-caliber rifle that was found roughly three-quarters of a mile east of the river,” said Trooper Steve Limani, of Pennsylvania State Police.
Putting to use wild land tracking skills, state Game Commission officers were able to figure out just where and how the suspect moved when he allegedly ran from the New Florence home. But finding the rifle still proved a challenge.
“There was a rough trail that the Game Commission was able to follow and lead us on, and this firearm was found off of that path in a thick area of brush and tucked under some leaves and brush,” said Trooper Limani.
The rifle wasn’t the only thing investigators say they found near the high-powered hunting rifle.
“A hooded sweatshirt that had some blood on it and there were several rounds of ammunition of that .270 caliber found in the pocket of that hooded sweatshirt,” said Trooper Limani. “They will be sent for analysis at our labs.”
Shetler is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison and he is being charged with criminal homicide.MORE NEWS: Car Goes On Crash Course In Homewood, Knocking Down Utility Pole And Wires