Officer killed in Pennsylvania was 1 month from retirement
A police lieutenant killed on duty in Pennsylvania was one month away from retirement when a man suspected of breaking into a family member’s home opened fire on responding officers, authorities said Friday.
Lebanon City Police Lt. William Lebo and three other uniformed officers were met with immediate gunfire when they entered the home on Forest Street, Lebanon County District Attorney Pier Hess Graf said at a news conference.
Two other officers were injured and remain hospitalized. The suspect, 34-year-old Travis Shaud of Lebanon, was also killed in the exchange of gunfire.
Graf said Shaud had a record of domestic assaults as well as mental health issues.
“Family attempts to intervene, to provide assistance, were met with his utter resistance,” she said.
Shaud had previously lived in the home but not for some years, she said. A man listed as a co-owner of the home declined comment when reached by phone early Friday.
Lebanon Mayor Sherry Capello said the injured officers are Ryan Adams, 34, and Derek Underkoffler, 32, both with seven years on the force. Lebo, 63, had planned to retire May 1 after 40 years with the department.
A family member arrived home after work Thursday and realized Shaud had broken into the rear of his home, so he called police, Graf said.
“When police attempted to enter the residence, four officers encountered immediate gunfire,” Graf said. Shaud used a gun from the home to shoot at police, Graf said.
Officers returned fire and Shaud was pronounced dead at the scene.
A Shaud family friend, Susan Schott, told the Lebanon Daily News the Forest Street home was Travis Shaud’s childhood home.
“Travis was a wonderful person when he was OK,” Schott told the paper. “But as soon as I heard the address I knew what happened.”
Authorities have not said who shot who and did not take questions about what Graf called an ongoing investigation at news conferences Thursday and Friday.
“As one can imagine, it’s clearly a traumatic event,” Lebanon Police Chief Todd Breiner said Thursday night. “Our guys are strong, but we’re human and we have families.”
Lebanon resident Angelo Gonzalez, 17, was working at a pizzeria down the road from the shooting when he said he saw “cop car after cop car flying down the street.”
“Then we heard something and weren’t sure what it was and the street filled up with cops and ambulance in a matter of 15 min,” Gonzalez said in a text message.
Lebo was at least the third officer killed in the line of duty in Lebanon, according to Capello.
Associated Press writer Ryan Kryska in Leonard, Michigan, contributed to this report.