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Chambersburg, Pa., man shot to death

October 07, 1997

By LISA GRAYBEAL

Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Chambersburg, Pa., man was shot to death early Monday night in front of his home at 18 W. Catherine St. and authorities had a male suspect in custody, according to Chambersburg Police Chief Michael DeFrank.

The identity of the victim was withheld pending notification of his family.

DeFrank said the identity of the suspect will be released as more information becomes available.

The victim was shot once with a handgun, DeFrank said. The weapon was found and is being sent to the Pennsylvania State Police crime laboratory in Harrisburg, Pa., for testing, he said.

Chambersburg Police were called to the scene at 5:31 p.m., where they found the man lying on the sidewalk, DeFrank said.

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The black man, wearing white shorts, red high-top sneakers, and a white T-shirt stained with blood, was lying face-up just steps from his front door. Police would not say on what part of the body the man was shot.

Friends and relatives surrounded the man, crying and screaming in anguish. It took several police officers to hold back the gathering crowd as emergency medical technicians placed a white sheet over the body.

During a press conference, DeFrank said that it was not a drive-by shooting.

Several onlookers said they saw a gray car drive east on West Catherine Street toward South Main Street, stop in front of the man's home, then back up West Catherine Street before turning around and heading west.

Police cordoned the block with yellow tape from Black Avenue to South Main Street as Pennsylvania State Police and Franklin County Chief Deputy Coroner Jeffrey Conner arrived at the scene.

Several people, crying and screaming, tried to break through the police line. Groups of onlookers, some yelling at the police, gathered on the corners of the block and on the sidewalks.

Some neighbors said they didn't hear a gunshot and didn't realize anything had happened until they heard screaming outside.

"I was in my house and I didn't hear anything because I had my air conditioner on. All I know is I heard people screaming and then my friend came in the house and got me," said Yolanda Coy, who lives across the street and a few houses from the scene.

Bruce and Goldie Hockenberry, who live in a red brick home across the street, said they were eating dinner in the kitchen in the rear of their home and didn't realize anything was going on until their niece called them after hearing the incident over her scanner.

"It's gotten terrible around here in the last three or four years," said Goldie Hockenberry, who moved to the neighborhood with her husband in 1964.

A mix of young families and senior citizens live on the block, Coy said. She said a lot of people used to hang out in the area, but that hasn't been a problem lately.

"I don't know how I feel. I just know it's a shame. I don't even think I could begin to express my feelings. I guess right now I'm still in awe that it was so close to my home," Coy said.

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