Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Brush Valley man dies in shooting

by CHAUNCEY ROSS on July 08, 2013 11:00 AM

BRUSH VALLEY — A Brush Valley man died during a confrontation with state police when they answered a report of a domestic dispute around midnight at his home, police said this morning.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene along Route 56 just after 6 a.m. by Indiana County Chief Deputy Coroner Jerry Overman.

Indiana County Coroner Michael Baker said his office was notified of the death at 5:34 a.m., but said he wasn’t told when the shooting took place.

Investigators released few details because of what Trooper John Matchik, a public information officer, called the sensitive nature of the incident, a “trooper-involved shooting.”

“Troopers responded to the residence in Brush Valley and when they arrived, they had a suspect inside,” Matchik said. “When he came to the front door, he was armed with a handgun. He appeared to point it in the direction of or at our troopers, and one of our troopers opened fire on the suspect.

“The suspect retreated inside the residence and we believe he had access to quite a few weapons. At that point we treated it as a barricaded gunman situation,” Matchik said.

Troopers summoned members of the Special Emergency Response Team, known as SERT, who eventually entered the house and found the suspect dead, he said.

The coroner’s office and state police declined to release the suspect’s name because not all relatives had been notified.

Matchik said he did not know whether the suspect fired at police.

“That’s a part of the investigation, to find out if any rounds were fired by the suspect. He appeared to brandish a handgun and pointed it at our troopers, which prompted at least one to open fire, I believe.”

Matchik said he did not know how much time passed between troopers’ arrival at the scene and the fatal shooting.

Troopers from the Indiana station and the Records & Identification unit at the Troop A headquarters in Greensburg continued to investigate at the scene this morning.

PHOTO: Investigators collected details at the scene of the shooting in Brush Valley. (Tom Peel/Gazette photo)

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