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Warrant turned up multiple weapons in Blair County shooter's home, from his vehicles

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Staff and Wire Reports
Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

State police at Hollidaysburg confiscated multiple weapons from the home and vehicles of a 44-year-old man who shot and killed three unarmed people near his home in a rural Blair County village on Dec. 21.

Search warrant documents filed this week in the Blair County Prothonotary's Office disclosed that investigators confiscated a Mossberg shotgun, a rifle, a Glock 23 pistol and a .22-caliber rifle, along with a stun gun, four pocket knives and ammunition from the home and vehicles of Jeffrey Lee Michael, 44, of 107 Lower Reese Road, Geeseytown.

Police confiscated the weapons hours after Michael's deadly shooting spree along a one-mile stretch of road in the tiny village, according to court documents.

After fatally shooting two neighbors and a woman decorating a Christmas tree in a church across from his home, state police troopers killed Michaels in a shootout.

According to The Associated Press, the affidavit disclosed that Michael, an unemployed truck driver, “was warning people that the end of the world was coming” on Dec. 20. Among them was the 19-year-old son of his live-in girlfriend.

Although separate inquiries of the police shooting, through Blair County District Attorney Richard Consiglio and a state police internal investigation, determined the shooting was justified, Cpl. Ken Butler of the Hollidaysburg barracks said Thursday that police are still pursuing the matter.

“We want to see where and how the guns were purchased or how they were obtained. We believe we know how the shootings occurred, but we still want to analyze the evidence we now have,” Butler said.

Michael had separated from his wife and was living in a one-story frame home with Brenda Shultz and her son, Lance. Court documents said Michael was under a protection of abuse order obtained by his wife in 2010.

If Michael obtained the guns while under the court order, those who supplied the firearms could face criminal charges, authorities said.

Police said Michael loaded up his pickup truck with weapons, fired at Juniata Valley Gospel Church across from his home, then entered and killed church volunteer Kimberly A. Scott, 58, of Duncansville. Michael then gunned down two of his neighbors, Ken Lynn, 60, and Lynn's son-in-law, William “Bill” Rhodes Jr., 38. Each victim died of a single gunshot.

According to the warrant affidavit, police initially responded after Rose Lynn, the wife of Ken, telephoned 911 to report her husband had been shot.

As Michael drove away, he then crashed into a pickup truck driven by Rhodes. Michael shot Rhodes after the accident, police said.

The affidavit reported that Michael fired at Troopers David Nazaruk and Timothy Strohmyer with a handgun as they passed his truck. The troopers turned around and then chased Michael's truck and saw it slam into a cruiser driven by Cpl. Kevin Campbell, according to the warrant.

The affidavit disclosed that Nazaruk and Strohmyer fired at Michael as the gunman left his white Ford pickup truck and was preparing to fire at Campbell, who was injured. All three troopers were treated and released from the hospital the day of the shooting.

Numerous witnesses have told police that Michael was acquainted with Lynn and Rhodes, but did not know Scott.

Shultz told police that Michael had been involved in a fatal traffic accident in March 2012 and had been having trouble afterwards. Friends of Michael reported that a woman had stepped in front of his tractor-trailer in 2009.

Trib Total Media staff writer Paul Peirce and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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