BROOKVILLE BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – Police say a Punxsutawney man reportedly took an AR-15 pistol and a 9mm handgun to a truck stop in Brookville in an attempt to commit mass murder.
Court documents indicate the Brookville Borough Police Department filed the following criminal charge against 30-year-old Christopher R. Strimple on July 22 in Magisterial District Judge Gregory M. Bazylak’s office:
– Criminal Attempt – Murder
According to a criminal complaint, around 9:48 a.m. on Wednesday, July 20, Jefferson County 9-1-1 Center contacted the Brookville Borough Police Department regarding a call from Jefferson-Clearfield Crisis Center regarding Christopher Strimple.
It was learned that Strimple was at the Flying J Truck Stop on Allegheny Boulevard in Brookville Borough, Jefferson County, in a silver 2015 Ford Fusion.
A representative from the crisis center reported that Strimple did not have suicidal thoughts, but when he was asked if he had thoughts of homicide, he answered “maybe.”
When asked if these thoughts are in regards to anyone specific, he answered “no” but stated he had an AR-15 and a 9mm in his vehicle.
The crisis center representative had called Jefferson County 9-1-1 dispatch to request a police escort to the scene due to the fact that Strimple expressed the intention he wanted to kill people and had guns in the car, the complaint states.
Brookville Borough police officers arrived at the truck stop parking lot and found the silver Ford Fusion in an RV parking spot near the entrance.
As the officers were at the rear of the Fusion, the trunk suddenly popped open, and Strimple appeared in the parking lot about 50 feet behind the car. He appeared very distraught and agitated.
He was sweating and advancing toward the officers with an object in his right hand. He then threw a key toward the feet of one of the officers and told them the “guns” were in the trunk of the Fusion.
Strimple was handcuffed for safety purposes, and he was told the officers were there to offer him help.
Strimple did not want to go to the hospital, but he agreed to talk to a representative of the crisis center, according to the complaint.
Police secured a black pistol version AR-15, one fully-loaded magazine and two partially-loaded magazines from the trunk of the Fusion.
Initially unable to find the 9mm pistol, Strimple advised it was in a black carry case. While in the trunk of the car, the officer observed a small bottle of bleach in a Dollar Store bag leaking as if it had been recently used.
The officer also found a black Glock 9mm handgun, the complaint states.
Strimple was transported to Brookville Police Station to meet with a delegate of the Jefferson-Clearfield Crisis Center.
Strimple was agitated, and it appeared that he was hallucinating about 5g radio waves being used on him, the complaint notes.
The crisis delegate met with Strimple in the holding cell area of the police station. In less than five minutes, the delegate walked out to meet with the officers and said there was nothing she could do for Strimple because he refused to talk to her. She added that he was not suicidal at the time, the complaint states.
According to the complaint, Jefferson-Clearfield Crisis Center completed 302 paperwork (involuntary commitment) for Strimple because of the homicidal ideation and the firearms located in the trunk of his vehicle.
When the 302 warrant came through, Strimple was transported to an area hospital for a mental evaluation.
While in the hospital, it was discovered that when Strimple was asked how he felt, he said homicidal. He was asked “anyone in particular?” and he responded: “Everyone, especially the people who have done me wrong,” the complaint indicates.
It was noted that Strimple recently got fired from his job.
During the investigation, police spoke to a known woman who expressed Strimple’s newfound fascination with firearms.
She stated that he just purchased a couple of new guns in the past few weeks. She indicated that Strimple had been on Suboxone, but she was unsure if he had been taking them recently.
She also stated that he hadn’t been eating or drinking much over the past couple of weeks, was acting very strange and had referenced dying, according to the complaint.
Around 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, July 21, a search of Strimples’ vehicle was initiated. A black tactical bag was located on the front passenger seat containing the following items: fury tactical knife, paracord, compass, SCCA flashlight, USCCA tactical multi-tool, SCCA bacterial wipes and tactical gauze, the complaint states.
According to the complaint, Brookville Borough police say: “based on the evidence and facts presented, it is believed Strimple had the intent to commit mass murder.
“Within the past week, Strimple purchased two firearms and ammunition totaling 90 rounds. He admitted to homicidal thoughts toward everyone and took the step to transport the firearms and ammunition to a high-traffic public place.”
He is awaiting a preliminary hearing.