GETTYSBURG, Pa. (WJZ) ―Killed in the line of duty. A wildlife conservation officer is gunned down in a shootout with a suspect. It happened just over the Maryland border near Gettysburg.
Vic Carter reports that investigators are calling for justice.
A 31-year-old wildlife conservation officer David Grove was shot and killed in the line of duty Thursday night.
“Yesterday, we celebrated sacrifices of our armed services veterans, and today we lost a local law enforcement hero,” said Srgt. Jonathan Mays,Gettysburg station commander.
It happened around 10:30 p.m. on Thursday just south of Gettysburg, Pa. State police say Grove pulled over a truck after he saw the person inside poaching a deer. Investigators say Christopher Johnson and his passenger got out and that’s when a shootout erupted.
It’s unclear who fired first. Neighbors heard the whole thing.
“My wife, Pam, was putting our daughter to bed,” said one neighbor, “and she heard two sequences of shots: Bang! Bang! Then rapid fire. Bang bang bang bang!”
Friday morning, a driver found Johnson wounded and asking for help. The driver took him to a campsite where state police just happened to be.
“I can assure you, here in Adams County, if an individual intentionally kills a law enforcement officer in the line of duty,” said Sean Wagner, Adams County district attorney. “We will seek the death penalty.”
“More often than not, these individuals are armed,” said Frank Pawlowski, Pennsylvania state police commissioner. “That’s the dangerous nature of work (officers) face every single day.”
The passenger with Johnson also ran but later turned himself into police and is cooperating with the investigation.
This is the first Pennsylvania game warden killed in the line of duty in 95 years.