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Pa. police kill armed man following standoff in St. Thomas

September 03, 2013|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Pennsylvania State Police use a trailer to remove an armored vehicle from St. Thomas, Pa., on Monday afternoon. Police fatally shot a man who allegedly barricaded himself in his home with firearms when troopers attempted to serve an arrest warrant.
Photo by Jennifer Fitch, Staff Writer

ST. THOMAS, Pa. — Pennsylvania State Police Monday afternoon shot and killed an armed man who tried to flee a house after a standoff in St. Thomas Township that lasted about five hours, according to state police.

The 47-year-old man, identifed by police Monday as Philip E. Rank, had “multiple firearms” on him when he was fatally shot at about 3:30 p.m., Trooper Robert T. Hicks, a state police spokesman, said at the scene.

The standoff began at about 10:30 a.m., when police tried to serve an arrest warrant on Rank at his log-cabin-style, single-family house in the 500 block of St. Thomas-Williamson Road, Hicks said. The charge stemmed from a domestic dispute on Saturday, he said.

Rank’s girlfriend, who was involved in the domestic dispute, was safe with troopers at the time of Monday’s shooting, Hicks said.

“There was nobody else in the home at the time of the standoff,” he said.

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The property had a former gun shop on it, but Hicks said authorities were told that the shop has been closed for some time.

Police received information that Rank had returned to his home. They went there to try and serve the warrant, but Rank refused to surrender and barricaded himself in the house, Hicks said.

Rank was believed to have a number of firearms, Hicks said.

State police from the Chambersburg, Pa., barrack and members of a regional state police Special Emergency Response Team, or SERT, surrounded the house and closed off St. Thomas-Williamson Road during the standoff, Hicks said.

Troopers had been negotiating with Rank in an attempt to get him to surrender, Hicks said.

“During the negotiations for his surrender, (Rank) disregarded commands and fled the residence with multiple firearms,” Hicks said.

As he fled, “he encountered (law-enforcement) members on the perimeter and was shot,” he said.

The Franklin County, Pa., district attorney and a state police Forensics Unit were expected to arrive on the scene to assess whether procedures were followed, Hicks said.

Hicks said police are investigating whether Rank fired at officers.

Franklin County Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner arrived at the scene at 4 p.m. Shortly afterward, tactical units and an armored vehicle were seen leaving the area, but the road remained closed.

“It’s crazy ... This is too close to home,” said Shana Plantz, who lives at the intersection of U.S. 30 and St. Thomas-Williamson Road.

Plantz said it was the most police activity she has seen in the nearly three years she has lived there. She told her two children to stay inside for their safety.

Staff Writer Don Aines contributed to this story.

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