Hunting Accident File > Safe Hunting

PA: Hunter accused of killing Conservation Officer

November 12, 2010

Wildlife conservation officer was shot after pulling someone over, police say

Pennsylvania State Police say that the person taken into custody this morning in relation to the shooting death of 31-year-old Wildlife Conservation Officer David Grove Thursday night will face charges for Grove's death.

State police say that 27-year-old Christopher Lynn Johnson was stopped by Grove in Freedom Township, Adams County, for suspected game law violations and exchanged gunfire with Grove. Johnson, of Fairfield, was driving his 1999 Chevrolet pickup truck when he was stopped by Grove, and fled with a passenger after the gunfire exchange, police say.

Johnson was found around 9:40 this morning by troopers from the Pennsylvania State Police Gettysburg Station. Police say Johnson had an injury consistent with a gunshot wound and was transported to a medical facility for treatment. Police say charges are will be filed against Johnson in Grove's death.

Adams County Coroner Pat Felix said an autopsy was under way to determine the cause and manner of Grove's death, but she said it appeared Grove had been shot to death.

Online court records list a Christopher Lynn Johnson with a history of burglary convictions and a 2005 guilty plea to a charge of fleeing an officer and endangering the welfare of children.

Grove, who lived in Adams County, graduated from Penn State University in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in wildlife and fisheries science, according to the game commission.

The last game commission officer to be shot and killed in the line of duty was Joseph McHugh in Weatherly, Carbon County, on Nov. 7, 1915.

Gov. Ed Rendell has ordered state flags at state facilities fly at half staff in Grove's honor.

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