No charges in Summerville bear-hunting shooting death
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A man who shot and killed a property owner after first being shot during a trespassing dispute while bear hunting will not be charged.
The shooting of Frank Shaffer, 63, of Red Lion, on Nov. 24 was justified, state police Trooper Jamie LeVier said Thursday.
Paul Plyler, 23, of Summerville, shot Shaffer after being himself shot first in the hand, then, as he retreated, a second time in the back, LeVier said
Plyler fired a single shot, hitting Shaffer in the abdomen.
According to police, Shaffer confronted Plyler and four other hunters on property he owned near Summerville, a remote area between Brookville and New Bethlehem in southernmost Jefferson County.
They left, but a short time later, Shaffer, armed with a semiautomatic rifle, confronted them again and began shooting during the argument.
LeVier said Shaffer fired at least four shots at Plyler. No one else in Plyler's group fired shots.
LeVier could not say if the Plyler group was mistakenly on Shaffer's land when he first ordered them to leave. The second encounter took place near his property line.
"From the first encounter to the second encounter, they were definitely moving in a direction that appeared they were leaving his property," LeVier said.
LeVier could not say whether Plyler's group was still hunting during the second encounter, or specifically how much time passed between encounters.
Three years ago, Shaffer was charged with pulling a gun on a trucker after each believed the other cut him off on Interstate 83 in York County. The charges were dropped when the trucker didn't show at Shaffer's preliminary hearing.
The York sheriff revoked his concealed weapon permit, but a judge later ordered it reinstated.
Shaffer, who had been a real estate appraiser, had said he needed a weapon for protection while working in dangerous neighborhoods.
That played no role in the decision not to file charges, LeVier said.
"Obviously, we turn up information that might be alarming or interesting ... but this investigation was done in and of itself," he said.
Messages left for Plyler and at a number listed for Shaffer were not immediately returned.