A Wilmington Township man who was sought by state police reportedly shot and killed himself in his truck in front of officers Sunday on the city’s North Hill.
Anthony E. Staph, 58, of Piela Court, was pronounced dead inside of his truck of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to Lawrence County Coroner Rich “R.J.” Johnson. Johnson ruled the death a suicide.
The incident occurred around 9:15 p.m. in the 300 block of Boyles Avenue, between Logan and Centennial streets, Johnson said.
He said Staph was being sought by state police in a reported hit-and-run collision that involved an Amish horse and buggy.
Other reports were that a family with children were traveling in the buggy when the accident occurred around 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Route 956 and Old Mercer Road in Wilmington Township. The buggy was demolished. A black GMC Sierra truck fled the scene. No injuries were reported.
Further details about the accident were unavailable from the state police on Monday and they did not issue a report.
Police looked for the vehicle and driver throughout the weekend, assisted early Sunday in their search by the New Wilmington borough police.
The truck was spotted on the city’s North Hill around 9 p.m. Sunday and the state police contacted New Castle police, who responded, Johnson said.
New Castle Police Chief Bobby Salem said Staph was in the stopped truck with his dog on Boyles Avenue, and as officers approached it, he pulled out a hunting rifle.
Johnson said Staph told the officers, “Don’t come up here.”
Salem said the officers were approaching his car to try to talk to him when he fired the gun.
Staph had not yet been charged in connection with the accident, but was facing charges in an accidental fire in a Neshannock Township mobile home park on Oct. 13 that destroyed three mobile homes and left two families homeless. His preliminary hearing in that case was scheduled for Tuesday.