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Pa. man commits suicide

January 03, 2007|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, PA. - A man who police said was experiencing "domestic issues" fatally shot himself Tuesday evening outside the Washington Township Police Department on Welty Road.

Christopher J. Harbaugh, 33, of 11648 Nottingham Road in Waynesboro, put a handgun to his head and fired a single shot around 6:16 p.m., Washington Township Police Chief Barry Keller said.

Harbaugh was taken to Waynesboro Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:31 p.m. by an emergency room doctor, Franklin County (Pa.) Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner said.

The incident began when Harbaugh approached Washington Township Supervisor Carroll Sturm outside the police station Tuesday evening, Keller said. As Harbaugh spoke to Sturm, a nearby officer noticed the gun in Harbaugh's hand, he said.

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The officer attempted to talk to Harbaugh while taking cover behind a police cruiser, Keller said, but as the officer spoke, Harbaugh put the gun to his head and shot himself.

Keller said the incident lasted less than a minute.

When Harbaugh spoke to Sturm, he allegedly reported having "domestic issues," police said. No confrontation occurred between Sturm and Harbaugh that would have prompted Harbaugh to shoot himself, Keller said.

Sturm declined to comment on the incident, saying he preferred to speak first to the police chief.

Conner said the cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. No autopsy will be performed, but Conner said there will a toxicology report.

Washington Township supervisors held their scheduled meeting at 7 p.m. in the adjacent meeting room.

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