Murphy family gathers, offers no comment at site of deadly Latrobe standoff
Family members gathered in the backyard of the Latrobe home that just a day before had been the site of a 17-hour standoff that ended with a gunbattle that left a state trooper injured and an armed robbery suspect dead.
The green-sided home along busy Lloyd Avenue where Scott M. Murphy, 46, barricaded himself Thursday night and into Friday was quiet on Saturday morning. A concrete block was propped against the home's front door, and the mailbox's red flag was up.
Family members arrived shortly after 11 a.m. but declined to comment after going into the house for the first time since the standoff.
Passing motorists slowed to get a better look at the home's broken windows and tattered curtains, the only visible signs of Friday morning's shootout that sent state police Special Emergency Response Team members jumping out of second-story windows and left Trooper Brian King shot in the eye.
King, 44, a 14-year veteran who has spent 12 years at the Belle Vernon barracks, underwent eye surgery at UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh on Friday. Police said a bulletproof shield on King's helmet may have saved his life.
“His surgery was successful, and he will be released in the very near future,” Trooper Robin Mungo said. “(It's) still unknown what, if any, permanent damage he might have to his eye.”
The standoff began after Murphy allegedly robbed Precision Care Pharmacy in Latrobe on Thursday afternoon, taking “several hundred OxyContin (pills).” Police attempted to arrest him around 7 p.m., but Murphy resisted and ran to the upstairs of the house.
Neighbors and others who knew Murphy said he had been depressed since his wife of 21 years, Lisa, died on the day after Christmas 2011.
“I did not even see this coming. I didn't expect he would do something like this,” said Joe Bowser, 27, of Latrobe. “When I met Scott, he was always nice ... but he's also a drug addict. His wife passed away a couple years ago, and it was all downhill from there pretty much.”
Bowser said he's been friends with Murphy's stepson, Brandon Simms, for about eight years and was at the house Wednesday watching a movie with Simms, and everything seemed normal.
He never knew Murphy to have a job, Bowser said, and Murphy had pawned household items, including Simms' video games or DVDs, to get money for heroin and pills.
Bowser said he talked to Simms about 3 p.m. Friday, who told him that his father had said that “he wasn't coming out unless he was in a body bag.”
Police tried to negotiate with Murphy, even taunting him on a bullhorn, saying, “Don't be a sissy” and “Come outside. Be a man.”
Troopers stormed the home at 11:41 a.m. once negotiations broke down, said Capt. Stephen Eberle, Greensburg station commander.
Murphy died from a gunshot, but police declined to say who fired the fatal shot, pending an investigation. An autopsy was done Friday night, but the cause and manner of death were withheld pending further investigation.
State police have scheduled a news conference for 10 a.m. Monday.
Kari Andren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724- 850-2856 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Kari Andren to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hempfield man receives long-overdue Bronze Star for World War II service
- Charges advance for men accused in police scuffle at Fort Ligonier Days
- 3 injured in 2-vehicle accident on Arona Road in Hempfield
- Longtime Greensburg District Judge Albert will seek fifth term
- Tanker crash closes lane of Turnpike in Penn Township
- Rostraver Democrat aims for 1 of 3 open spots on Westmoreland County bench
- Arnold man’s molestation conviction upheld
- Greensburg torture killer drops appeal, ‘will spend my time in jail’
- Westmoreland register of wills plans to retire
- Bids expected for demolition of Monsour Medical Center in Jeannette
- Hempfield votes to fill public works job with interim director Cisco