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Adams County Prison shooter: 'This will get their attention'

Written by Gordon Rago, York Daily Record | Apr 22, 2015 3:00 AM

(Adams County) -- The motives of an armed man who showed up at Adams County Prison earlier this month on a bicycle remain unclear, even as officials are expected to soon make a determination about the man who was shot and killed by a state trooper.

adams prison shooting officer 300x170.jpg

Photo by Shane Dunlap, The Evening Sun

Adams County sheriff Jim Muller speaks to the media Thursday April 8, 2015, after a gunman was shot and apprehended at the Adams County Prison in Straban Township.

But court documents accompanying a state police warrant say that 31-year-old Jess Leipold at the very least wanted to get people's attention.

Angela Spino, the prison guard who buzzed Leipold into the building on April 9, told police Leipold had a backpack with what appeared to be a roll of carpet sticking out of it.

"He was staring at me," Spino said, according to an affidavit of probable cause. "And I felt like there was something wrong."

He pulled out a black handgun and started tapping it on the desk in the lobby.

He pointed it at Spino and said, "it is people like you who don't care with that badge," documents state.

Spino tried to get him to calm down. According to documents, Leipold then said to Spino, "Maybe now someone will realize something or this will get their attention now."

Leipold then walked back outside the prison. Spino sounded an alert and locked the door. She heard gunshots outside. "I was so afraid that he was going to shoot me," she said, according to the documents.

He was seen with an AR-15 style rifle and a Glock pistol, prompting a 35-minute standoff as State Police converged on the prison.

Authorities also locked down all county buildings for roughly one hour.

Police said Leipold was pacing the entire front of the building. He was ordered to put his hands up and drop his rifle. At one point, he shot the rifle into the ground. After he turned to face the building and take a "shooting stance," he was shot by a state trooper and fell to the ground, according to authorities and court documents.

Leipold died of a gunshot wound hours later at York Hospital.

Investigators so far have not addressed Leipold's possible motives other than to say that, preliminarily, the shooting by the trooper appeared justified and that Leipold had no connections to the prison or its employees.

The trooper's name has not been released, but state police said the officer was placed on leave.

When troopers searched Leipold's backpack, they seized communication devices and a hand-written note. He also had 100 rounds of ammunition, according to the Adams County district attorney, Shawn Wagner.

Court documents filed at Judge Tony Little's office did not include the note, and state police said they could not immediately elaborate on it.

Wagner said on Tuesday that he has reviewed some of the state police investigation, adding that in the "near future," he will make a determination on the shooting in terms of the trooper's actions being justified.

Related

York County Coroner's office: Adams County shooter dies at York Hospital

Looking back: Tragedy averted at Adams County prison


This article comes to us through a partnership between Evening Sun and WITF. 

Published in Adams County, News

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