A criminal complaint detailing the events surrounding a fatal shooting in Clay Township earlier this month accompanied Friday’s news that the gunman is in custody, charged with criminal homicide.
Cole James Campbell, 30, is charged with killing an unarmed neighbor, Timothy Eugene Skipper Jr., 40, with an AR-15 rifle the evening of April 3 at Campbell’s home, 8036 Campbell Circle, off Spring Hill Drive, roughly three miles outside Three Springs Borough.
Skipper, a resident of Spring Hill Drive, lived roughly one-third of a mile from the scene.
Huntingdon County District Attorney David Smith announced late Friday morning an arrest warrant had been issued for Campbell who was taken into custody soon afterwards by state police at Huntingdon.
As charged, criminal homicide encompasses first and third degree murder and involuntary and voluntary manslaughter, District Attorney Smith said.
Magisterial District Judge Lisa Covert, who presided over Campbell’s preliminary arraignment at 12:45 pm Friday, denied bail.
District Attorney Smith, who will prosecute the case with First Assistant District Attorney Ethan Wilt, praised the work of investigators who spent nearly the entire month of April reviewing evidence and conducting interviews.
“We are very satisfied with the investigation completed by the Pennsylvania State Police,” Smith said.
Along with news of Campbell’s arrest and initial arraignment, Smith provided the state police criminal complaint which pieces together the events on Campbell Circle the evening Mr. Skipper was killed.
According to the complaint filed by Trooper Christopher Bourne, lead investigator, Campbell fired upon Skipper three times with the rifle, the first shot striking the victim in the shin. Subsequent shots struck Mr. Skipper in the right forearm and in his right upper arm, passing through into his chest.
An autopsy, performed by Dr. Harry Kamerow April 5 at Mount Nittany Medical Center, concluded the cause of Mr. Skipper’s death was the gunshot wound to the chest.
Bourne stated neighbors told him Skipper and Campbell were in the midst of an ongoing verbal argument over Campbell speeding along their shared roadway and Skipper plowing along the shared roadway.
Bourne stated police were first notified at 7:42 pm April 3, that Mr. Skipper had been shot by the defendant and that the 911 call was placed by Campbell’s wife.
Bourne reported that, upon arrival at the scene, state police troopers found Mr. Skipper in the back of a Three Springs ambulance along Spring Hill Drive and learned the victim had succumbed to his injuries from several gunshot wounds.
Bourne reported the first officers on the scene – Cpl. Moyer, Troopers Beal and Trooper Kleinfelter – secured the scene and ensured there were no other victims and to ensure the safety of bystanders.
Bourne reported the front door to the Campbell home was propped open and upon entering the residence, the three troopers were greeted by several individuals who showed the officers the weapon used, the AR-15 rifle with a magazine.
Bourne said shortly after the weapon was secured, Campbell identified himself as the shooter and approached the troopers, holding out his cellphone. Bourne reported that, without prompting, Campbell showed the officers a cellphone video of the shooting and advised the officers there was a surveillance camera inside his kitchen and a doorbell camera outside, adjacent to the front door.
Bourne said video evidence, which was reviewed by state police April 19 and 27, depicts Mr. Skipper just outside the front door and Campbell standing just inside the kitchen at the front door. Bourne said video shows Campbell presenting a rifle, pointing it at Mr. Skipper and Mr. Skipper then grabbing the barrel of the rifle.
Bourne reported a struggle ensued in the area of the doorway and moved inside the residence. Video shows that during the struggle, Mr. Skipper falls to the ground, at which point Campbell steps back, pulls the riffle up and appears to shoot at Mr. Skipper.
Bourne reports video then shows Mr. Skipper retreating by crawling outside the home. Bourne said Mr. Skipper was not observed with a weapon.
Bourne stated in the complaint that neighbors Curtis and Samantha Guyer, who share a driveway with Campbell, told officers they saw Mr. Skipper pull up the drive; Curtis Guyer told people he believed the victim was coming to their house, not Campbell’s.
As he headed for the front door so he could step outside to greet Mr. Skipper, Curtis Guyer said he heard three shots. When he opened his front door, he could see Mr. Skipper falling to the concrete pad just outside the Campbell home.
The Guyers said they stood at the end of the driveway for a bit because they could see that Campbell “was fuming” and was still in possession of the rifle.
Bourne stated Samantha Guyer approached the Campbell house and attempted to render aid to Mr. Skipper while Curtis Guyer drove to Mr. Skipper’s home to pick up the victim’s wife, Hilary, and brother, Dustin.
Bourne stated that despite the efforts of Samantha Guyer and Hilary Skipper to stop the bleeding and perform CPR, they could not stay ahead of Mr. Skipper’s injuries.
In addition to criminal homicide, Campbell is charged with felony 1 aggravated assault, felony 2 aggravated assault, misdemeanor 1 terroristic threats, three counts of misdemeanor 2 simple assault and misdemeanor 2 recklessly endangering another person. He’s scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Huntingdon County Central Court Wednesday, May 11.
The case brings to an end a roughly 12-year stretch during which there were no criminal homicide charges brought forth in Huntingdon County.
“Statistically, you’re bound to have something happen,” Smith said, adding he’d have preferred the streak to continue.