Police: Spring Grove-area man fired shotgun at brother

Christopher Dornblaser
  • Police say a Spring Grove man fired three shots at his brother when his brother tried to calm him.
  • The man was arrested and released on $25,000 bail.

A Spring Grove-area man is accused of firing a shotgun at his brother after the brother tried to separate the man and his wife during an argument, police said.

Cory Scott Beard, 38, of 5915 York Road, North Codorus Township, is charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct, according to charging documents filed Sunday by Southwestern Regional Police.

Police say Beard and his wife were arguing, and Beard's brother, Christopher Atkinson, tried to separate Beard from her to cool him off. After Atkinson did that, police say, Beard fired three shots from his shotgun at his brother.

Alleged incident: Around 3 a.m. Sunday, police were sent to Goofy's Eatery and Spirits at 5965 York Road, where they met with Atkinson. He told police he was at his brother's home for a family gathering and that Beard and Beard's wife got into an argument over a Facebook post, police allege.

Atkinson said while he attempted to calm Beard down, he and Beard had a heated argument, police said.

"Cory walked to the corner of the garage, picked up a 20-gauge shotgun and threatened him by stating, 'Shut up or I'm gonna take you out,'" the officer wrote in charging documents.

After that, Atkinson said, Beard fired off one round from his gun in his direction, over his head, documents state. Atkinson then asked Beard to calm down, and Beard told him to get off his property or he "wouldn't like what was going to happen" before firing again, police said.

Atkinson then got into his car and started to leave. As he was leaving, police say, he heard Beard fire off a third round. Atkinson then went to Goofy's, where he called 911. While waiting for officers, Atkinson said, he saw his brother drive off toward Hanover, police said.

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Facebook: After speaking with Atkinson, police went to Beard's home and spoke with his wife. She told authorities that she saw a friend request from another woman on Beard's cellphone, which prompted the argument between them, according to police. Beard's wife told police she stayed inside as Beard and Atkinson went outside, charging documents state. She denied hearing any gunshots.

Police asked Beard's wife to show them the shotgun, and they seized it as evidence. Police say the magazine was still in the weapon, and the bolt was in an open position.

Atkinson showed officers where the alleged incident occurred, and police say they found three expended shotgun shells there.

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Arrest: Police were then able to track down Beard, who was staying at his mother's home in Penn Township, according to police. Police took Beard into custody, and while they were telling him he was under arrest, he allegedly uttered, "This is bull s—, I cracked off one round in self-defense, and I'm getting arrested," police said.

While in police custody, he agreed to talk to police, saying he was defending his property and shot one round in the air in self-defense, telling his brother to get off his property, police said.

"When asked if his brother was armed, he stated that there were all kinds of tools and things in the garage that could have been used as a weapon," the officer wrote in charging documents.

Beard admitted to firing at least two rounds in the air, but police say he denied aiming the weapon at Atkinson.

He was arraigned Sunday morning at central booking by District Judge James H. Morgan and released on $25,000 bail, according to online court records.

His preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 16 at District Judge Thomas J. Reilly's office.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.