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Old 12-11-2009, 04:57 PM
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York Today

Red Lion man killed, bear hunter wounded in quarrel over trespassing

Updated: 11/25/2009 10:26:23 AM EST

Frank N. Shaffer

An argument over trespassing apparently sparked a shootout in rural northern Pennsylvania Tuesday that left a landowner from Red Lion dead and a member of a bear-hunting party hospitalized with a gunshot wound, police said.

Investigators were trying to sort out the details of the incident near Summerville, but charges are expected, Trooper Bruce Morris said. He said at least four shots were fired.

"From what side to who, who shot first — they're going through that process to try to determine it," Morris said.

The property is located in a remote area off Patton Road in Beaver Township, Jefferson County, according to state police in Punxsutawney.

Morris said Frank N. Shaffer, 63, of the first block of South Main Street in Red Lion, was killed after he apparently confronted a group of four or five bear hunters about trespassing or walking across the land he owns with family members.

Paul H. Plyler, 23, of Summerville was shot once and taken by a private vehicle to a hospital in nearby Brookville, police said. Morris said Plyler was transferred to a Pittsburgh hospital, but his injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Summerville is about 15 miles from Punxsutawney and about 60 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Morris described the scene of the shooting as very remote.

Jefferson County Coroner Bernard P. Snyder said an autopsy was planned for Wednesday, and state police said the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office and the state Game Commission are also investigating.

Previous dispute: Shaffer was involved in another dispute in August 2006, when he and a tractor-trailer driver got into a roadside altercation on Interstate 83 because each believed the other had cut him off.

Both drivers eventually pulled their vehicles to the side of the road. Shaffer pointed a gun at the tractor-trailer driver when the tractor-trailer driver began running toward Shaffer, screaming profanities and threatening to kill him, according to a lawsuit later filed by Shaffer when his concealed weapons permit was revoked after the incident.

The tractor-trailer driver pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for his role in the incident, according to the lawsuit. Shaffer was charged with simple assault, disorderly conduct, reckless endangerment and harassment. The charges against Shaffer were dismissed when the tractor-trailer driver did not appear to testify.

After the incident, then York County Sheriff Bill Hose refused to reinstate Shaffer's concealed firearms permit, according to Shaffer's lawsuit.

Shaffer filed the federal lawsuit in July against Hose and York County, arguing that his Second Amendment right to bear arms had been violated, and he sought a court order forcing the county to issue him a valid, usable concealed firearms permit, damages and attorney fees.

While Shaffer was issued a new license after the I-83 incident, at the top and bottom of his picture is a statement that reads "return by order of court," according to the lawsuit. Hose was no longer in office at the time.

Shaffer, a real estate appraiser, said he needed to carry a gun for self-protection while examining properties in dangerous neighborhoods.

The Associated Press, the Punxsutawney Spirit and staff writer Elizabeth Evans contributed to this report. Reach Jessica Anderson at 505-5434 or janderson@yorkdispatch.com.
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Old 12-11-2009, 05:03 PM
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A followup:

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.

©Courier-Express/Tri-County 2009
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:02 PM
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onehorse onehorse is offline
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No matter who was at fault, these kinds of things are always unfortunate and totally unnecessary. I feel sorry for the families. Having said that, it seems that this Shaffer was a loose cannon, and sooner or later was going to get into something this serious.
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Old 12-11-2009, 06:48 PM
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yea i would think something worth dieing for or killing for would be a WHOLE LOT more than a trespassing
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:29 PM
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joel the signman joel the signman is offline
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well the guy sounded like a hot head with the road rage and all but ronn is right dont tresspass
Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison.
Genesis 27:3 "The thinking deer hunter should mature through three phases during his hunting life. First phase, "I need to kill a deer." Second phase, I want to harvest a nice deer. And last phase, we must manage this resource so our children and their children can experience the grand tradition of good deer hunting." - Jim Slinsky
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:52 AM
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BruceBruce1959 BruceBruce1959 is offline
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Originally Posted by joel the signman View Post
well the guy sounded like a hot head with the road rage and all but ronn is right dont tresspass
I second what Joel said....
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the outcome of the vote.
-Benjamin Franklin

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