Corporal David William Witmer

Corporal David William Witmer

Shamokin City Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Sunday, November 13, 1983

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David William Witmer

Corporal David Witmer was shot and killed when he answered a mutual aid call from the Zerbe Township police chief.

The shooter went into a jealous rage when his ex-girlfriend received an obscene phone call. He set fire to what he believed was his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend's auto-body garage located in the small anthracite coal region town of Trevorton, Pennsylvania.

The suspect then went stalking through the neighborhood from house to house. Holding up in the shadows, he fired a volley of shots that lasted for approximately 20 minutes. Corporal Witmer died almost instantly after being struck in the neck by a .30-.06 caliber rifle shot. Another officer was wounded, but survived.

After killing Corporal Witmer, the suspect tried to flee the scene in his tractor trailer. He was apprehended by officers from the Shamokin City Police Department, Coal Township Police Department, and the Pennsylvania State Police.

The subject was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He died in prison on October 12th, 2013.

Corporal Witmer was a U.S Military veteran had served with the Shamokin City Police Department for nine years. He was survived by his wife, daughter, and three grandsons.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 9 years, 6 months
  • Badge 3
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; .30-.06
  • Offender Deceased

domestic, weapons violation

Most Recent Reflection

View all 16 Reflections

I knew Dave from Al Povish’s Soda Shop & Pete’s Poolroom near the old Coal Township Stadium- He was a kind & decent young man- I became a career soldier, left Coal Township & we never talked again. Like so many good Officers he left his post way too early and in a very terrible situation. I am terribly sorry for the pain his family & comrades must feel-

CW2 R.W. Rakofsky USASF (Ret.)
U.S. Army Retired

November 25, 2023

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