DA to pursue death penalty in officer’s killing

GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania man charged with fatally shooting a police officer who responded to a domestic dispute could face the death penalty.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck filed notice that he’ll pursue death in the case of 31-year-old Ray Shetler Jr.

Shetler, of New Florence, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of St. Clair Township Officer Lloyd Reed on Nov. 28.

Shelter has acknowledged shooting Reed who arrived after Shetler’s girlfriend called 911 claiming he’d assaulted her that night. But Shetler contends he didn’t realize Reed was an officer and fired in self-defense after Reed fired at him first.

State police, who investigated the shooting, contend Reed identified himself clearly and fired only after Shetler refused to drop his rifle.

Shetler’s attorney didn’t immediately comment Thursday.