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4 dead, 3 troopers injured in Pennsylvania shooting

December 21, 2012|By Michael Muskal
  • Blair County Dist. Atty. Rich Consiglio and Coroner Patricia Ross detail the shooting in rural central Pennsylvania.
Blair County Dist. Atty. Rich Consiglio and Coroner Patricia Ross detail… ( J.D. Cavrich / Altoona Mirror )

Four people died on a rural Pennsylvania highway Friday when a gunman killed three people and later died in a shootout with police, authorities said. Three state troopers were injured, one of whom was saved from worse wounds by the bulletproof vest he wore.

The incident comes as the nation remained on edge a week after a gunman invaded a western Connecticut elementary school, killing 20 children and six adults before committing suicide in the building.

It also comes as gun control remains a major topic on the political agenda with the Obama administration and some Democrats seeking to craft tougher federal proposals while the National Rifle Assn., the lobbying group, vowed it would continue to fight new restrictions and insisted the better path was to increase armed security.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” NRA chief Wayne LaPierre said at a televised Washington news conference.

Authorities were still sorting through the events Friday morning in Blair County, about 70 miles west of Harrisburg. But the incident was contained and no danger remained by the afternoon, according to the Blair County Emergency Management Agency.

“The Pennsylvania State Police have neutralized the active shooter in Frankstown Township, Blair County. There is no longer a threat to residents and visitors to this area from this individual,” the Blair County Emergency Management Agency said on its Facebook page.

The unidentified highway shooter killed two other men and a woman, various media reported, quoting Blair County Dist. Atty. Richard Consiglio.

One trooper was hit in his bulletproof vest and another was hit by flying glass when the shooter fired on the his car. The third trooper was injured in a crash involving the suspect, according to Consiglio.

No identifications were immediately available.

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