Suspect Indicted in Hancock County Shooting Spree
NEW CUMBERLAND — The man who allegedly went on an August shooting spree that injured four people in Hancock County was indicted on numerous felony charges this week, but has been cleared in the death of his girlfriend — who authorities now say died by suicide.
Michael A. McClanahan Sr., 45, engaged in a 30-minute shooting spree at multiple locations in the New Manchester area Aug. 14 before a sheriff’s deputy shot him in the neck.
Police were originally called to McClanahan’s residence at 89 Judge Drive and found the body of his significant other, 58-year-old Sandra Brown. Also in the home was his stepson, Travis Choina, with gunshot wounds.
Hancock County Prosecutor James Davis said Thursday that Brown died by suicide in the residence, which is what prompted McClanahan to go on the shooting spree.
“That’s when he started; after the suicide is when he went off,” Davis said.
“He initially shot his stepson in the leg,” Davis said. “He then left the area and went to another residence. That wasn’t random. That was planned.”
After shooting Choina, investigators said McClanahan drove to Clearview Street and fired shots into a residence. One person, Catherine Podolak, was shot in the abdomen while two other people, Ronald Perrine and James Lloyd, were injured by shrapnel.
He then drove to a Carriage Court residence, police said, and did “donuts” with his truck in the yard while holding a pistol out of the vehicle’s window, before leaving the scene.
A Hancock County sheriff’s deputy said he saw the vehicle traveling north on Veterans Boulevard and attempted to stop the truck, which turned onto Locust Hill Road and slammed into a residence. The deputy shot McClanahan in the neck, and then administered first aid. McClanahan was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital, where he eventually recovered from his gunshot wound.
The Hancock County grand jury indicted McClanahan this week on four counts of wanton endangerment involving a firearm; three counts of attempted murder; malicious assault; two counts of attempted malicious assault; robbery in the first degree; kidnapping; fleeing officer in vehicle; fleeing officer while DUI; and DUI third or subsequent offense.
He is being held in the Northern Regional Jail on $150,000 bond.