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Hearing delayed in standoff case

February 17, 2009

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - An Orrstown, Pa., man charged in a standoff with Pennsylvania State Police last week had his preliminary hearing continued Tuesday in Franklin County Central Court, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The hearing for Gary Shoop, 53, of 3124 Orrstown Road, was delayed one month to Tuesday, March 17, to allow time for a mental evaluation, a staff member said.

Shoop was charged with aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person in the Feb. 9 incident on South Road in Lurgan Township. Police said Shoop fired six or seven shots from a rifle and then refused to come out of a barn for seven hours.

At least one of those shots was fired in the direction of a neighbor on South Road, according to the affidavit of probable cause. Shoop did not live at the property where the incident occurred, but stayed there frequently, neighbors said.

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Members of the state police Special Emergency Response team surrounded the barn and fired tear gas into it without results. They eventually used an armored vehicle to ram down the barn door.

Shoop was taken into custody without injury and no one was hurt during the incident, police said.

During his arraignment before Magisterial District Judge Brenda Knepper, Shoop stated that satellites were being programmed to hurt people, including his daughters, and he was trying to warn people of the danger.

Knepper jailed Shoop on $200,000 bail.

- Don Aines

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