The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

July 19, 2013

Suspect in pharmacy robbery shot

LATROBE — An armed robbery suspect who had kept police at bay for about 18 hours was shot to death Friday by a tactical team.

State police identified the man inside the Latrobe house as Scott Murphy, 46, a robbery suspect accused of stealing several hundred pills from a pharmacy.

After Murphy refused numerous requests that he surrender, police tried to enter the building just before noon. Murphy opened fire, striking one officer’s protective face shield.

Other tactical team members returned fire and Murphy was later pronounced dead.

Capt. Stephen Eberle identified the injured officer as Trooper Brian King, a 15-year veteran. He was reported to be in stable condition at UPMC Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh. Eberle said the shield may have saved the officer’s life.

The incident began shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday when police acted on a tip that Murphy was involved with the robbery.

Police cordoned off the block where Murphy lived and even shut off electrical power to the area for several hours, urging some residents to evacuate and warning others to stay indoors as the standoff stretched into Friday afternoon.

Police believe Murphy robbed the Precision Care Pharmacy in Latrobe about 2:25 p.m. Thursday, taking prescription pills after brandishing a small handgun, according to Trooper Brian Thomas. Police were led to the home by a license plate number given by a witness to the robbery. Murphy doesn’t own the car, but he reportedly had permission to use it about the time of the robbery, police said.

When police arrived at Murphy’s house, other people came out but Murphy refused.

“The family members advised that he has several handguns and long rifles,” Thomas said.

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