LEBANON, Pa. - A man who broke into his stepfather's house opened fire on responding police officers, killing a lieutenant one month away from retirement and wounding two other officers, a prosecutor said Thursday, releasing details of last week's gunfight that also killed the suspect.
Lebanon City Police Lt. William Lebo, 63, and three other uniformed officers were met with immediate gunfire when they entered the home on Forest Street, where the suspect had smashed a window to gain entry, Lebanon County District Attorney Pier Hess Graf said at a news conference.
Travis Shaud, 34, of Lebanon, kept firing even after being hit by return fire, Graf said, but eventually went down and was pronounced dead at the scene. The two wounded officers underwent surgery and are recovering, Graf said.
Authorities had not previously revealed who shot whom in the chaos. Lebo — a 40-year veteran of the force — was the first officer killed in the line of duty in Lebanon County in more than a century, according to Graf.
"Words cannot properly express the overwhelming sadness, the shock and the loss that currently ripples through this community," she said.
Lebo — who once broke both legs in the line of duty — enjoyed travel, golf, and tinkering with cars as a member of the Antique Automobile Club Association. Survivors include his wife, daughter, mother and two brothers. His funeral will be held Friday at an arena in Hershey.
His wife, Lora, said in a statement this week that she forgives Shaud.
"I am choosing to forgive the perpetrator in this incident and offering my condolences to his family. I ask that the community do the same. They didn’t ask for this incident any more than I did," she wrote on Facebook.
She said she wants people to remember her husband for "a life well lived and not simply how he died." Alongside, she posted a photo of Lebo smiling in a shirt festooned with sailboats and relaxing at an open air restaurant by the sea. "THIS is my husband. This is how I hold him in my heart," Lora Lebo wrote.
Officers went to the home March 31 when Shaud's stepfather, returning from work, realized that Shaud had broken in. Responding officers generated a layout of the residence and made a plan to enter. They went to the rear of the home, where Lebo — leading the way with a shield and his weapon drawn — called out to Shaud and asked him to meet with police at the back door, Graf said.
Shaud approached and refused Lebo's order to show his hands, instead drawing a handgun and firing three rounds at close range, Graf said. Lebo and a second officer, Derek Underkoffler, were hit, unable to return fire, she said.
Shaud exchanged fire with other officers, striking another officer, Ryan Adams, before being killed, Graf said.
The gunman had a history of mental health problems, and had largely cut off ties with his family in the months leading up to the deadly attack, Graf said. He was on parole for assault and had previously violated a protection from abuse order.
There were a number of guns in the home, all legally owned, and Shaud used one of them in the deadly attack, Graf said.
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