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Lower Swatara Officer Shea, who was shot in line of duty last year, leaves department for new job

Posted 5/20/20

The Lower Swatara Township police officer who was shot last October while responding to a call has accepted a job with the Derry Township Police Department.

According to Acting Chief Dan Tingle, …

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Lower Swatara Officer Shea, who was shot in line of duty last year, leaves department for new job

Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo presented Officers Josh Malott, left, and Tim Shea with the Medal of Valor during the Jan. 15 Board of Commissioners meeting.
Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo presented Officers Josh Malott, left, and Tim Shea with the Medal of Valor during the Jan. 15 Board of Commissioners meeting.
staff photo by laura hayes
Posted

The Lower Swatara Township police officer who was shot last October while responding to a call has accepted a job with the Derry Township Police Department.

According to Acting Chief Dan Tingle, Tim Shea was sworn into the Derry department May 12. His resignation from the Lower Swatara department was effective May 13.

The commissioners unanimously accepted Shea’s resignation during their May 20 meeting. Vice President Todd Truntz was not present.
 
“Wish him well. We appreciate his service to this township,” Commissioner Chris DeHart said.

Shea, who is from Hummelstown, was hired as a patrol officer in January 2019. Efforts to reach Shea for comment were unsuccessful.

With his resignation, there are 14 officers in the Lower Swatara department.

“Tim was a very good officer. He was willing to learn. He knew he had a lot to learn and was willing to do it. He’s a great guy. It’s going to be a loss for Lower Swatara and a gain for the Derry Township community,” Tingle told the Press & Journal.
 
When asked via email if there were plans to hire an officer to replace Shea, township manager Betsy McBride said the township at this point was focusing on filling the chief of police position. Tingle stepped in as acting chief following the resignation of Chief Jeff Vargo earlier this year.

Shea was shot in the leg in October when he and Officer Josh Malott responded to an incident at a home in the 100 block of Bentley Lane in the Swatara Shores trailer park.

The suspect is Andrew Changhan Park, 47, of Mechanicsburg. Lower Swatara police charged him with criminal attempt of murder in the first degree, aggravated assault-attempting to cause serious bodily injury to designated individuals, assault of a law enforcement officer, burglary, aggravated assault-attempting to cause serious bodily injury or causing injury with extreme indifference, two counts of terroristic threats, two counts of reckless endangering another person, unlawful restraint, and strangulation.

He is scheduled to go to trial on Aug. 17.

According to arrest documents, Park is the ex-boyfriend of a woman who lived in the home and was telling the woman he was going to kill her and himself and sending threatening text messages before he showed up at her home.

When Shea and Malott arrived, they reportedly saw Park and the woman in a room in the front of the trailer before Park shut the door. Shea kicked the door open, and Malott in the affidavit said he believed Park was aiming a handgun at the woman. She later told police she was hit in the head.

The officers fired their Tasers, and as Park fell backward, police heard two pops and believed he fired shots at them, officers wrote in the arrest documents. 

Shea was hit in the leg and applied a tourniquet to himself while Malott covered the door.

The officers and woman were able to get out. It turned into a barricaded gunman situation that lasted several hours before he surrendered.

Shea was later awarded the Law Enforcement Purple Heart, and he and Malott both received the Medal of Valor. Shea was also honored by the Dauphin County Commissioners, Rep. Tom Mehaffie and District Attorney Fran Chardo.

He returned to work mid-December.