Elderly Couple Use Handgun to Defend Themselves from Crazed Intruder

An elderly couple in Pennsylvania used a handgun to defend themselves this week against an attack from a crazed neighbor who barged into their home and began beating them.

Pennsylvania State Police told reporters that 54-year-old Steven David Shaffer was wearing nothing but a shirt and running around a neighborhood in Berwick Township around 11 am on December 22. Law enforcement received calls reporting that he was trying to enter an occupied home and banging on vehicles as they drove past.

He soon gained access to the unlocked front door of a home occupied by a married couple in their late 70s. He immediately began assaulting the male homeowner, who told his wife to get the handgun in their bedroom.

Shaffer followed the woman into the bedroom, where he began “violently assaulting the female on the bed” as her husband entered the room, according to Lieutenant Mark Major of the Pennsylvania State Police.

The male homeowner was able to grab the firearm and fired multiple shots, killing Shaffer.

The man was taken to the hospital, and the woman sustained “significant injuries” and had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital. She is in critical condition, according to state police.

Major told reporters that Shaffer lived “in close proximity” to the couple, but the couple says they don’t know him. Investigators have not announced a motive for what appears to be a random assault. Major said Shaffer’s actions are isolated to the neighborhood, and the public is not in danger.

“Obviously this is a very sad situation,” said Lt. Mark Magyar of Pennsylvania State Police. “We all have an expectation to safety and privacy in our homes and not to have somebody come in and intrude the way that Mr. Shaffer did.”

Residents describe the neighborhood as usually “quiet and laid back.”

“I actually live down the road like two, three minutes down the road. I was at work and I was just like, here we go again. The world isn’t getting any better,” said Brooke Forbes of York County.

“It’s close to home and you’re out with your kids doing things or even home with your kids,” said Amanda Collins of York County. “Not everyone locks their doors when they’re home. You’re supposed to be safe in your house.”

Though the official description of the incident strongly suggests self-defense, Major said the Adams County District Attorney’s Office will review the attack and shooting and determine if any charges are warranted.

About the author:
Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

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