Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Man Slain, Suspect Wounded in Standoff Relatives of Victim Say Motive Was Money

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Man Slain, Suspect Wounded in Standoff Relatives of Victim Say Motive Was Money

Article excerpt

An hours-long standoff in the village of Bunola on Wednesday ended after a suspect killed one person and fired at officers before police shot him in the chest, Allegheny County police said.

Billy Joe Richter, 47, was treated by a physician before being taken to Allegheny General Hospital in critical condition, said Superintendent Charles Moffatt of the Allegheny County police.

He will be charged with homicide, burglary, criminal mischief, five counts of aggravated assault and five counts of recklessly endangering another person, county police Lt. Andrew Schurman said.

"When he is suitable for incarceration, he will be lodged at the Allegheny County Jail," he said late Wednesday night.

The slain man was identified by the county medical examiner's office as as Harrison Shaffer, 68. Relatives and friends said they believed Mr. Richter was seeking money from him, though police had not cited a motive yet.

County property records show Mr. Shaffer purchased his home in the 500 block of Pine Street in 1981 - 34 years before police would find him slain in his living room.

Lt. Schurman said Mr. Richter likely shot Mr. Shaffer before police arrived.

Mr. Shaffer was able to call 911, Superintendent Moffatt said, and police arrived in the Forward village at 1:14 p.m.

"When the officers arrived, they immediately came under fire from someone inside the house," Superintendent Moffatt said. "They immediately retreated and called for reinforcements."

Mr. Richter continued firing intermittently at police.

"He would shoot one or two shots out of the house, and then he'd retreat, and then he'd shoot another shot, and then he'd retreat," Superintendent Moffatt said. "Not a volley of shots, but a shot or two here and there."

Three municipal officers and one state trooper returned fire, Lt. Schurman said.

"Ballistic testing will be completed to determine which officer shot Richter," he said.

Though Mr. Richter was hit, he did not surrender. Neither did he communicate with a physician response team negotiator from the Allegheny Health Network, forcing police to use tear gas and a robot to gain access to Mr. …

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