Shots Fired

Last night a Jersey Shore man fired a .22 caliber air rifle through his bedroom window at pedestrians and businesses while indecently exposing himself, Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police said. 

Thomas R. McElheny, 50, is accused of discharging lead pellets in the direction of five people, including a 15-month old child, around 9 p.m. on Sept. 12, 2019.

The air rife is considered a "deadly weapon," according to the felony aggravated assault charges listed in McElheny's criminal docket.

In addition to the pedestrians, police said McElheny shot at the windows of businesses within range of his bedroom window at 147 South Main Street, Jersey Shore.

One victim was struck in the leg while walking with his small child along the 200 Block of South Main Street. 

The victim observed the shooter to be naked and rushed home in fear for his child's safety, Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police Officer Joshua Klinger wrote in the affidavit.

McElheny also is accused of firing in the direction of a female pedestrian, who told police she was walking in the area of the Jersey Shore Laundromat when she heard a sound like a BB gun or fireworks.

The third victim was bold enough to approach the shooter's window, according to police.

"[The victim] asked the individual if he was shooting at her and he quickly turned his lights off, shut his window and then covered it," Officer Klinger wrote.

During that interaction, the suspect reportedly "did remove a red towel exposing his genitals multiple times," Officer Klinger wrote.

The fourth victim reportedly heard shots from an upstairs window and observed a naked male.  

The fifth victim told police she was doing laundry at the Jersey Shore Laundromat, situated diagonally from McElheny's apartment on Plum Alley, when something struck the glass.

"She stated that she really didn't know what it was and went back to doing laundry...approximately 15 minutes later another shot hit the window [and she] observed a pellet hole in the glass," Officer Klinger wrote.

The Hair Authority and Russel's Florist, both on the 200 Block of South Main Street, Jersey Shore, also had window damage from lead pellets, police said. 

Police searched McElheny's apartment and said they found a red blanket like the one described by victim three, a Benjamin Prowler .22 caliber air rifle and an empty container of Pranha 5.5 mm .22 caliber hollow point pellets.

These pellets were the same type recovered from Russel's Florist and also from the trim above one of McElheny's neighbor's apartments, where McElheny reportedly told police he shot at a bat.

When questioned about discharging his air rifle, McElheny told Officer Klinger that "he did shoot his air rifle at the Jersey Shore Laundromat but did not try to shoot any pedestrians."

McElheny was arraigned by video conference with Lycoming County Magisterial District Judge Jon E. Kemp at 4:45 a.m. on September 13, 2019. Notes from the arraignment said McElheny had a "problem w/ pills."

He was charged with three counts of second degree felony aggravated assault, two counts of first degree misdemeanor simple assault, one count of first degree misdemeanor possessing instruments of crime, three counts of second degree misdemeanor indecent exposure, five counts of second degree misdemeanor recklessly endangering another person, three counts of criminal mischief, intentionally damages another's property, one count of second degree misdemeanor propulsion of missiles into occupied vehicle or on roadway, and one summary count of harassment. 

Judge Kemp set McElheny's bail at $35,000 straight bail, meaning he would need to post the full amount to be released from Lycoming County Prison, where he currently is being held.

McElheny is scheduled for a preliminary hearing before Lycoming County Magisterial District Judge Jerry C. Lepley in Jersey Shore at 8:45 a.m., Sept. 25, 2019.

Docket sheet