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Pennsylvania Trooper Shot In Gun Battle With 19-Year-Old Armed Domestic Violence Suspect

Watsontown, PA – A Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) trooper was shot while responding to a report of a domestic disturbance on Wednesday morning.

A Watsontown Borough police officer responded to a residence on East 4th Street shortly before 8 a.m. on April 12 after receiving a call from a family member of 19-year-old Hunter Shaheen, The Daily Item reported.

The family member said Shaheen had gotten into a domestic dispute with his girlfriend, then took off on foot with a gun in his hand, according to investigators.

Police later learned the suspect physically assaulted one female victim and threatened another female victim by brandishing a firearm, WKOK reported.

Shaheen also allegedly fired off a .44-caliber handgun inside his bedroom prior to officers’ arrival, according to The Daily Item.

Police said they found multiple casings inside the room.

Watsontown police searched the area for the armed suspect and called the PSP for assistance when they were unable to locate him, The Daily Item reported.

Investigators soon received a tip that a man dressed in all black clothing was seen walking on the roadway in Delaware Township near the intersection of Merrill Drive and 8th Street Drive, according to court documents.

Officers responded to the scene shortly before 8 a.m. and determined the individual – who was allegedly still holding a handgun – was Shaheen, The Daily Item reported.

Police said Shaheen took off running into a nearby field when he spotted the officers.

A witness reported having heard law enforcement officers ordering him to drop his weapon just before the suspect opened fire on the PSP trooper, The Daily Item reported.

The trooper was struck in his left leg by one of the rounds and immediately returned fire, hitting his attacker.

Shaheen was struck multiple times, according to WBRE.

The suspect collapsed to the ground and the trooper was able to retreat to his patrol car to address his own gunshot wound, The Daily Item reported.

He was assisted by Wastsontown police, who rendered aid until the wounded hero could be transported to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.

Investigators found Shaheen lying on the ground, suffering from a gunshot wound, according to court documents.

A 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun was allegedly lying beside his head, The Daily Item reported.

Shaheen was subsequently transported to Geisinger Medical Center in critical condition and has since been listed in stable condition, according to NorthcentralPA.

He has been charged with felony attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, attempted criminal homicide, assault of a law enforcement officer, four counts of aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, and simple assault, The Standard-Journal reported.

The wounded trooper was treated at the hospital for his gunshot wound and was released later on Wednesday to continue his recovery at home, according to WKOK.

His identity was not immediately released.

All of the law enforcement officers involved in the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues, as per protocol, The Daily Item reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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