Court papers shed light on shooting outside Adams County Prison on April 9

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STRABAN TOWNSHIP (WPMT)- Court documents are beginning to paint a picture of what transpired during the April 9 shooting outside of the Adams County Prison that left a homeless man dead.

Jess Leipold, 31, of no known fixed address, was identified as the gunman who was shot during a confrontation outside the prison. He died April 10 after he was shot by a Pennsylvania State Police Trooper.

According to the affidavit, Pennsylvania State Police were dispatched to the Adams County Prison located at 45 Major Bell Lane in Straban Township for a report of a gunman in the prison lobby on April 9 around 1:13 p.m.

Angela Beth Spino, a guard at the prison, was working the front desk when a man, later identified as Leipold, came to the door, court documents state, Spino buzzed him in.

Spino told investigators that Leipold approached her desk and explained that he was homeless and living in Adams County. When Spino asked what she could do to help him he told her that he had a gun, the affidavit states. That’s when she said Leipold reached into his jacket and pulled out a gun.

Spino told police that as Leipold tapped the gun on the desk he said, “it is people like you who don’t care with that badge.” She said Leipold pointed the gun at her and said, “maybe now someone will realize something or this will get their attention now.” Leipold then turned and walked away. That’s when Spino set of an alert at the prison.

Spino said Leipold walked out of the prison and sat down on a bench. She saw Leipold take out items from his backpack and assemble them together. She thought it looked like a shotgun, according to court documents.

Spino  went to the bathroom in order to get away from the window and then heard 6 to 8 gunshots. Spino told police that she was afraid that Leipold was going to shoot her.

When Pennsylvania State Troopers arrived at the scene they saw Leipold pacing back and forth in a grassy area in front of the prison. Investigators spotted Leipold carrying an AR style rifle. He also had a gun  holstered on his hip, court documents state.

According to the affidavit, Leipold ignored several orders given by state troopers to drop his weapons and to put his hands up. At one point, Leipold bent over as if to put the rifle on the ground, but stood back up with the weapon. That’s when investigators said  he turned toward the front of the prison and shot the rifle into the ground. According to court documents, Leipold then turned and faced the building, took a “shooting stance,” and pointed the rifle towards the building. A state trooper fired their gun, striking Leipold and he fell to the ground.

Police immediately took Leipold into custody and he was taken to York Hospital. He died the following day.

The identify of the trooper who shot Leipold has not been released.

Troopers recovered an olive green backpack, an AR_15 style rifle, a pistol and camouflage clothing. According to a receipt of seized property, police also found a hand-written note. It is unclear what was contained in the note. The details were not available in the court documents.

The Adams County District Attorney’s office is currently reviewing the investigation.




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