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Posted January 15, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

Police arrest forest ranger on gun charges at his home

Strasburg police arrested a U.S. Forest Service ranger Monday evening at his home and charged him with three firearms-related offenses after receiving a report that he fired a handgun inside the residence.

Chief Tim Sutherly said Damion James McElroy, 39, of 762 Christianson Drive, was taken to the Shenandoah County Jail where he was being held without bail Tuesday afternoon. Authorities charged him with discharging a gun within town limits, discharging a gun in an occupied dwelling and reckless handling of a firearm.

Sutherly said police were called to McElroy's home at about 6 p.m. Sutherly said McElroy was "under mental distress" and speaking in person to a member of the clergy at the time he fired the gun.

No one was injured.

"He deliberately shot in the opposite direction of anyone," Sutherly said of McElroy.

Sutherly described the person who reported the incident to police as "somebody familiar with the (member of) the clergy who was there."

Sutherly said police returned to the house Tuesday and executed a search warrant to recover the slug that had been fired into the wall during the incident.

He said a mental health evaluation of McElroy is pending.

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