State trooper fatally shot in Venango County

Bodies of couple found inside home

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A state trooper was shot and killed outside a home in Venango County and police say the man suspected of shooting him was found dead inside the house along with his wife.

Authorities said found the bodies in the home about 6:15 p.m.

State police said Trooper Paul G. Richey, 40, was killed when he and another trooper responded to the scene of a domestic dispute at the home of Michael and Nancy Smith. Police said Trooper Richey was shot once in the chest.

The shooting occurred in the 1400 block of Bredinsburg Road in Cranberry Township.

Trooper Richey and the other officer, Trooper Jason Whitman, arrived at the scene at approximately 11:45 a.m., according to state police. After they got out of their vehicles, Trooper Richey was hit with a shot fired from the residence. Additional troopers responded and Trooper Richey was removed from the scene.

A State Police Special Emergency Response Team responded to the scene and the incident remains open, state police said.

Dozens of officers from other departments, including Pittsburgh police, converged on the heavily wooded area where the shooting occurred. State police identified the dead man inside the home as Michael J. Smith, 44, who was the shooting suspect. His body was found inside his home along with his wife, Nancy, 53. Police had been called to the home because Mrs. Smith, who worked at a car dealership, had not showed up to work.

Shortly after the shooting, police believed the shooter may have escaped and launched a manhunt. Venango Catholic High School was locked down and students were dismissed to parents only.

Cranberry High School and Cranberry Elementary schools were locked down, though students were being dismissed securely" two buses at a time, according to the Cranberry Area School District Web site.


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