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Autopsy for man killed in Pa. property dispute to be performed today

Wounded man was airlifted to Altoona hospital

Wounded man was airlifted to Altoona hospital

July 29, 2008|By DON AINES

MERCERSBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania State Police said an apparent property dispute turned deadly Monday when one man was killed and another was shot in rural Montgomery Township.

Bryan Edward Kendall, 40, of 9397 Blue Spring Road, was hit with birdshot pellets fired from a handgun, Trooper Karl Schmidhamer said. Kendall was flown from the scene by helicopter to Altoona (Pa.) Regional Health System, Schmidhamer said.

A man who police and Franklin County Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner would not identify was pronounced dead at the scene. Conner said Monday night he had not been able to notify any next of kin.

Conner said an autopsy would be performed today at Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown, Pa., to determine the cause and manner of death, but it appeared the man had not been shot.

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A spokeswoman for the hospital said there was no information available on Kendall.

The incident occurred at about 7:30 a.m., Schmidhamer said. Both men were in what Schmidhamer described as an access road that serves the two properties. After Kendall was shot, he used a cell phone to call 911 at approximately 7:35 a.m., Schmidhamer said.

"Bryan Edward Kendall was struck with some birdshot. We don't know how many times he was shot, but he was struck with some pellets of birdshot," Schmidhamer said. "A struggle ensued after that, and we have a deceased victim as a result of that struggle."

The man's body was lying in the access road, Schmidhamer said. Conner said he pronounced the man dead at 8:36 a.m., about 15 minutes after the helicopter carrying Kendall lifted off.

A handgun found by police was the only apparent weapon involved, Schmidhamer said. The pistol had birdshot loads, he said.

There were no witnesses to what happened between Kendall and the man, he said.

At about 11:20 a.m., a state police helicopter took Trooper Mark Dean over the area around Blue Spring Road to take aerial photographs.

Schmidhamer and Conner said the point where the incident occurred was more than a quarter-mile down a lane off Blue Spring Road. The lane was blocked by police at the road.

Assistant District Attorneys Jeremiah Zook and Chris Schellhorn also were at the scene. Zook later said they were there to consult with police and help determine what, if any, criminal charges might result from the incident.

"We're still gathering information," Zook said Monday afternoon.

"What we know is that it was an ongoing property dispute" and the nature of that dispute was part of the investigation, Schmidhamer said.

Neighbor Betty Hardsock said she knew the victim, who she said was in his 80s.

"He more or less stuck to himself. ... He was not the type to start anything," said Hardsock, who lives at 9413 Blue Spring Road.

The victim was a widower and had no children, Hardsock said. She said she and her niece, Jessica Pensinger, would often see him riding his bicycle up the lane and along Blue Spring Road.

Telephone messages left at Kendall's home and the home of a family member were not returned.


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