A Schuylkill County man, who had a criminal background involving violence, stole two vehicles including a pickup truck, which he used to ram into a police cruiser "repeatedly," and nearly ran down police officers yesterday morning.
In an effort to stop the mayhem, police fatally shot the man.
Scott A. Mackelvey, 41, of Tuscarora, was pronounced dead in the front yard of a residence in the Wildcat Development, atop the Wildcat Mountain, by Schuylkill County Coroner Joseph Lipsett. It was the same residence that Mackelvey had allegedly broken into and stole the set of keys to the pickup.
Before this, he allegedly stole a truck tractor at Koch's Turkey Farm, drove it up Wildcat Road, ran over mailboxes and other property, and crashed it into a tree.
None of the police officers were injured.
The shooting occurred shortly after 8:30 a.m., say reports.
According to Trooper Edward F. Maloney, public information officer of Troop L of the state police, troopers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative duties.
Involved in the incident were troopers from Frackville barracks of the state police and a municipal officer who wasn't identified.
It isn't known from what municipality the off-duty officer works.
Trooper Maloney, stationed at Reading barracks, said it is too soon to make any determinations on the incident, including whether or not the shooting was justified.
He said a cooperative investigation is being conducted by the Troop L Major Case Team, Schuylkill County District Attorney James Goodman, and Schuylkill County Coroner Joseph Lipsett.
The incident occurred at 70 Whitetail Crossing Drive in the Wildcat Development, which is the home of Thomas and Joann Rowlands.
According to reports, earlier that morning Mackelvey had phoned Rowland and appeared to be inebriated. Mackelvey requested a ride but Rowlands declined.
Trooper Maloney said troopers got involved because of a report of "a series of criminal acts," which included "multiple stolen vehicles, recklessly endangering other people, and placing the public at risk."
He explained, "Troopers arrived (at 70 Whitetail Crossing Drive) in response to numerous calls of a truck tractor driving through yards and menacing citizens."
He said when the troopers reached the scene, the stolen truck tractor was crashed against a tree and there was extensive damage.
Maloney said Mackelvey had entered the Rowlands residence where he stole the keys to the pickup truck and tried to flee with the vehicle.
According to police, at this time he rammed the pickup into the front of the cruiser.
"Suspect continued to ram the state police cruiser, ignoring repeated orders to stop," Maloney states in his report. "Troopers and an off-duty municipal officer were nearly struck as the suspect continued his actions."
He continued, "At this time, troopers and the off-duty municipal officer fired their weapons, striking the suspect, which stopped the attempts of the suspect to cause injury to the troopers."
Troopers at the scene rendered first aid and CPR until paramedics from Lehighton Ambulance arrived.
Police said Mackelvey, who is listed as having been born in Tamaqua but had lived at one point in Bucks County, has had multiple contacts with police in recent years, some of the incidents being violent and involving weapons.
According to court records, arrests involving Mackelvey can be found back to 2004.
The most recent was in May of 2009 in Schuylkill Township when he was charged with terroristic threats with intent to terrorize another, simple assault, disorderly conduct, and harassment.
State police at Frackville barracks made the arrest. The charges were eventually withdrawn.
In September 2007, he was arrested by troopers at Frackville barracks on motor vehicle charges, including DUI: Highest Rate of Alcohol (which means it was in excess of .16 percent) and for failing to use traffic signals.
Various other charges were dismissed, but he did serve time in prison.
In September 2004, he was charged in Southampton Township, Bucks County, with numerous offenses including aggravated assault, several counts of simple assault, possession of weapon, fighting, public drunkenness, and institutional vandalism.
He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, which is a felony, and simple assault, and was placed on probation.
A detective with the Schuylkill County District Attorney's office said the investigation into Tuesday's shooting incident could take several weeks and when completed, a report will be issued.
An autopsy by the coroner's office on Mackelvey was scheduled for this morning.