Lebanon police lieutenant, killed in line of duty, was about to retire
When Lieutenant William Lebo responded to a 911 call Thursday afternoon, he had 40 years of service behind him and just one month ahead until retirement.
Lebanon County District Attorney Pier Hess Graf said the 63-year old lieutenant and two other officers got a report of a break-in to the home of family members of Travis Shaud, a 34-year-old man who lived with “years-long mental health issues.”
Shaud was prohibited from possessing firearms because of past domestic assault convictions and a protection from abuse order, Graf said. The house, in the 1100 block of Forest Street, had several firearms in it. By the time police arrived, Shaud had gotten hold of a handgun from inside the house.
When police attempted to go inside, Shaud opened fire, killing Lebo and wounding officers Ryan Adams and Derek Underkoffler, Graf said. Police fired back. Shaud died.
“We cannot confirm police fire or suspect fire struck Shaud at this time,” Graf said. “We are pending the autopsy and ballistic results.”
Officers Underkoffler and Adams are in “stable but critical condition,” Graf said. Both officers are 32 years old with seven years’ experience.
“Every time an officer responds to a call, he risks his life,” Graf said. “He responds knowing he may give the ultimate sacrifice for his community. The Lebanon City Police Department acted with utter bravery and every officer deserves to be commended for the fearless actions undertaken yesterday.”
Across the state, people voiced their condolences and sympathy online.
“We ask for God’s grace upon our community and families tonight, and into the future as we navigate our way through the coming days and weeks,” said state Rep. Russ Diamond, a Republican who represents Lebanon County.
Pennsylvania Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro said his heart goes out to the police. “A sobering reminder of the dangers our brave men and women in uniform face day after day,” he said. “And they keep showing up, running towards danger anyway.”
Lebanon Mayor Sherry Capello said Lebo is the first officer to be shot and killed in the line of duty since 1903. The city’s last officer-involved shooting was in 2003, she added.
Capello said Lebo joined the police force in September 1982. He was promoted to sergeant in 2002 and lieutenant in 2005. His scheduled retirement date was May 1.
“Lt. William Lebo unselfishly served the community for 40 years, and our deepest condolences and prayers go to his family, friends, peers and community during this heart-wrenching time,” said Pennsylvania Fraternal Order of Police Lodge President Les Neri. “The PA FOP also extends our prayers and unending support to Officers Ryan Adams and Derek Underkoffler who were wounded and are in critical care. These three men are heroes among us. Our hearts go out to the Lebanon City Police Department in the days and weeks to come as they begin to heal.”
WITF Digital Producer Jeremy Long contributed to this story.
This is a developing story.