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Police: York shooter remains free as homicide investigated

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

York City detectives will re-interview eyewitnesses and re-examine evidence before deciding whether a crime was committed when one driver shot another over the weekend, police said.

James Weimert, 29, recently of North Beaver Street in York City, died after suffering a single gunshot wound to the chest, according to York City Police Capt. Troy Bankert.

Weimert was shot by Michael Yeaple, 27, of the York area, during an altercation between them that had turned physical, Bankert said.

Just after 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, vehicles driven by the two men crashed at East Philadelphia and North Pine streets in what the captain said appears to have been an accidental collision.

York City Police said two drivers argued after crashing on East Philadelphia Street near North Pine Street just after 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. The altercation turned physical, and Michael Yeaple fatally shot James Weimert, according to police. Detectives are investigating to determine whether the homicide is criminal, police said.
(John A. Pavoncello photo)

Weimert and Yeaple got out of their vehicles and started to argue, police said.

The altercation turned physical, at which point Yeaple shot Weimert, according to Bankert.

Weimert did not have a gun, the captain confirmed.

Wives, kids watching: Both men had their wives and children in their respective vehicles, he said.

Bankert stopped short of saying the shooting was the result of road rage. He said he's waiting for detectives to complete their investigation before making that determination, out of an abundance of caution.

Police said Michael Yeaple of the York area fatally shot James Weimert of York City after their vehicles crashed on East Philadelphia Street near North Pine Street on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, Police said they are still determining whether Yeaple was justified in shooting Weimert.
(John A. Pavoncello photo)

Weimert — originally from Cobb Island, Maryland — was rushed to York Hospital but died in the ambulance bay, according to the York County Coroner's Office, which also noted the incident is being investigated as a reported road rage.

Yeaple was taken into custody by police and questioned but later released, police said.

"We know he committed the act, but we don't know yet whether ... there's any type of justification," Bankert said.

Others in area: In addition to the men's wives and children, other people nearby witnessed the crash, altercation and shooting, according to the lieutenant.

"We have several independent witnesses to the incident," Bankert confirmed.

 

He said all witnesses' statements will be evaluated to determine what prompted the fatal gunshot and whether Yeaple was justified in firing.

An autopsy on Weimert's body done Tuesday, Nov. 14, at Allentown's Lehigh Valley Hospital, confirmed Weimert's cause of death as gunshot wound to the torso, with the manner homicide. 

Anyone with information about the encounter is asked to call York City Police at 717-846-1234 or text "Yorktips" and your information to 847-411. Or download the York City Police Department app, which allows tipsters to remain anonymous.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include Weimert's autopsy results.