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Man who allegedly shot police officer is denied bail; details emerge about attack on woman, officers

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 10/16/19

Bail has been denied for the man who allegedly shot a Lower Swatara police officer Monday night.

Andrew Changhan Park, 47, of the 200 block of Cherokee Drive in Mechanicsburg, was arraigned …

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Man who allegedly shot police officer is denied bail; details emerge about attack on woman, officers

Posted

Bail has been denied for the man who allegedly shot a Lower Swatara police officer the night of Oct. 14.

Andrew Changhan Park, 47, of the 200 block of Cherokee Drive in Mechanicsburg, was arraigned before Judge Michael J. Smith on Oct. 15.

Park faces 12 charges: two counts each of aggravated assault, terroristic threats, and recklessly endangering another person, and one count each of criminal attempt of murder in the first degree, assault of a law enforcement officer, burglary, unlawful restraint, strangulation, and simple assault.

Park will be before Smith again Nov. 4 for his preliminary hearing.

The affidavit filed with Smith includes details of what happened in the mobile home in the Swatara Shores trailer park off Vine Street before Officer Timothy Shea was shot in the leg.

“He’s doing well. He’s home with his family,” said Lower Swatara Police Chief Jeff Vargo in an interview last Wednesday.

He asked for continued thoughts and prayers for Shea, Officer Josh Malott who also responded, the department and other responding officers from other departments. Anyone who wants to send cards to Officers Shea and Malott should drop them off at the police department at 1499 Spring Garden Drive.

Shea and Malott responded to a domestic disturbance at a residence in the 100 block of Bentley Lane. According to the complaint, Park is the ex-boyfriend of a woman who lives there. Park told her that he was going to kill her and himself and had been sending “threatening text messages consistently prior to showing up at her house,” officers wrote in the affidavit.

The woman told dispatch that Park was intoxicated and knocking on her door. Police dispatch was still on the phone with the woman and told the officers that it sounded like she was being hit.

The caller at the residence did not mention weapons, the affidavit said. When Malott and Shea arrived at 11:26 p.m., they saw the sliding back door had been smashed. There was shattered glass inside the home, and it appeared that someone broke in.

Shea and Malott approached the glass door and announced themselves. Inside, they saw blood on a white appliance, and they heard thumping noises and a woman yelling and making sounds that the officers described as “distressful,” according to the affidavit.

They saw Park and the woman in a room in the front of the mobile home. When Park saw them, he slammed the door shut with the woman inside, according to the affidavit. Officers wrote that they believed he was assaulting the woman inside the room.

The officers had their Tasers in hand “as there was still no report of weapons being involved,” the affidavit said.

Shea kicked the door open, and in the affidavit, Malott said he believed Park was aiming a handgun at the woman’s head. The woman told police that she was hit in the head with the gun.

Malott and Shea fired their Tasers, the complaint said.

“Officer Malott said he then saw the male falling backwards, and then he heard two more pop sounds and believed that the male had just fired shots at them,” the affidavit said.

In an interview, Vargo said he didn’t know if the Tasers made contact, and, if they did, whether they were effective. He said it was too early in the investigation, and more interviews must be done.

Shea said he thought he was hit “and they switched to their firearms and began to back away from the door tactically to get a better position of cover,” the affidavit said. When Shea confirmed he had been hit in the leg, Malott covered the door with Shea behind him, and Shea put a tourniquet on his leg.

The woman started to come out of the doorway, and Malott told her to get out of the house. According to the affidavit, Malott stayed and covered the door where Park was until a perimeter was set around the home.

In an interview, Vargo said the officers’ first priority was to ensure the safety of the woman. He said the officers together were able to safely get the woman and themselves out of the house. A timeline will be put together on which officer did what, Vargo said.

Shea, he said, was able to walk himself to the ambulance.

During an interview last week, Vargo and Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo said 50 officers and the Dauphin County Crisis Response team responded. Chardo said neighbors were evacuated from their homes. Vargo said it turned into a “barricaded gunman situation” that ended shortly before 4 a.m. when Park was taken into custody.

In an interview, Vargo said there were multiple levels of communication, including calling Park on the phone and hailing him through a loud speaker. A negotiator with the Dauphin County Crisis Response team did all the negotiating, he said.

Both Park and Shea were taken to a hospital — Park for what Vargo said was a medical evaluation.

According to the affidavit, a Ruger .380 handgun was recovered along with two spent casings and the bullet that went through Shea’s leg and into the wall. 

This was not the first incident involving Park and the woman, the affidavit said.

On Aug. 30, Park reportedly threatened to kill the woman and pointed a gun at her and pulled a chunk of her hair out. The woman called EMS the next day and police responded and found a handgun on Park, according to the affidavit.

The woman was reportedly assaulted again on Oct. 5 during which Park strangled her and she couldn’t breathe and nearly blacked out “several times,” the affidavit said.

Chardo said the man had a license to carry a firearm.