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Chief: Warrant issued for Penn Twp. shooter, considered armed and dangerous

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A drifter came to Penn Township specifically searching for the man he's accused of shooting, according to his charging documents.

Penn Township Police are now looking to arrest David Robert Leatherman, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest, according to township Police Chief Guy Hettinger.

Leatherman is accused of shooting and critically wounding Joseph Wright on Wednesday night.

The public should consider Leatherman armed and dangerous, the chief said.

According to charging documents, witnesses told investigators that Leatherman came to the 900 block of Baer Avenue shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday looking for Wright.

He was seen running away from Wright's body after witnesses heard a loud bang and then was seen fleeing between houses before getting into a vehicle and taking off, documents allege.

Police tracked down the driver of that vehicle, who told them Leatherman admitted to shooting Wright, according to charging documents.

Once arrested, Leatherman, 42, of no fixed address, will be charged with the felonies of attempted homicide, aggravated assault and being a felon in illegal possession of a firearm, according to court records.

On Thursday afternoon, Hettinger said Wright, 32, of the Hanover area, remains in critical condition at York Hospital. Officers found him unresponsive, lying on the road in the 200 block of Charles Avenue, police said. 

Wright was shot in the upper left shoulder, according to charging documents, which state that he suffered a serious, lasting injury.

A spent .40-caliber shell casing was found near Wright, police said.

Leatherman has a felony theft conviction in Adams County, according to court records, which state he has previously lived in Gettysburg and in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

In Pennsylvania, felons are prohibited from owning or even handling firearms.

Court records state that an Adams County common pleas judge issued a bench warrant for Leatherman on  Friday on his misdemeanor drug and paraphernalia court case, meaning Leatherman was a wanted man at the time of the shooting.

Police investigate the scene of a reported shooting in the 200 block of Charles Avenue in Penn Township, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Police said the shooting is an isolated incident and that there's no danger to the public.

Hettinger urged Leatherman to turn himself in peacefully. The alleged shooter is white, about 5-foot-8 and 185 pounds, with brown hair.

Anyone with information about Leatherman's whereabouts, or about the shooting, is asked to call Penn Township detectives at 717-637-8751.

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

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Police investigate the scene of a reported shooting in the 200 block of Charles Avenue in Penn Township, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. Dawn J. Sagert photo