FAIRCHANCE, Pa. (KDKA) — Two state troopers were shot in Fairchance on Friday evening.
It happened around 8 p.m. near a Shop ‘N Save on West Church Street.
Commanding officer Joseph Ruggery of Troop B of the Pa. State Police stated the situation was “a senseless and inexplicable act of violence.”
“Two members of the Troop B Uniontown station were present at that location pursuant to an on ongoing burglary investigation,” Ruggery said. “The troopers were attempting to contact an individual attempting to sell a PlayStation video game console on Facebook.”
The suspect was identified as 26-year-old Clarence Allen Belsar, of Fairchance.
Ruggery said the PlayStation was believed to have been stolen in a recent burglary.
“When Mr. Belsar observed the troopers arriving on scene and exiting their vehicle, he got up and began to walk away from them,” Ruggery said. “The troopers gave Mr. Belsar verbal commands to stop but he intentionally ignored those commands and continued walking away.”
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The troopers attempted to restrain Belsar and place him under arrest.
“Witnesses at the scene indicated that both troopers were heard identifying themselves as police officers and giving repeated verbal commands to Mr. Belsar as the altercation continued,” Ruggery said.
Belsar then pulled a .38 caliber revolver from his waistband and opened fire.
The suspect fired one round from his gun, which struck one trooper in the hand and the other trooper in the abdomen.
At that time, police say both troopers fired back at Belsar with their handguns, hitting him multiple times. Police say Belsar died on scene.
The trooper who was struck in the hand was taken by ambulance to Uniontown Hospital and was treated and released. The trooper struck in the abdomen was transported by medical helicopter to Ruby Memorial Hospital’s trauma center where he is listed as being in critical condition.
“His prognosis is good, however and doctors expect him to survive his injuries,” said Ruggery.
Since the investigation is ongoing, the names of the troopers have not been released.
Police say both troopers will be placed on administrative duties once they return to work after they recover from their injuries until the investigation is complete.
“My office will do a thorough review of all the evidence to determine whether or not the shooting is justified,” Fayette County District Attorney Richard Bower said.
Belsar was charged in 2013 for allegedly trying to lure a teenage girl into his vehicle by offering “sex and marijuana.” He was listed as a Megan’s Law offender.