Pennsylvania Wildlife Officer Killed in Line of Duty

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A suspected deer poacher gunned down Wildlife Conservation Officer David Grove in Adams County Pennsylvania last week. The Gettysburg Times has a complete write up on the crime and the suspected poaching.

At 10:30 p.m. Thursday, the 31-year-old Grove observed spotlighting and shots from a Chevy pickup truck in the area of Schriver Road and Red Rock Road, in rural Freedom Township. After conducting a vehicle stop, Grove ordered Johnson — the driver — and passenger Ryan Laumann outside. Grove also ordered Johnson to throw his keys out of the window, and Johnson complied. The 27-year-old Johnson used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot a spiked deer.

Laumann was ordered to walk around the vehicle and stand by the drivers side door. Simultaneously, Johnson was ordered to walk backwards towards Grove, which he did. According to charging documents, Laumann heard Johnson say, “what’s this all about,” and the sound of hand-cuffs clicking. Laumann told police that he then heard shouting, and saw Johnson fire at least three rounds from his .45 caliber pistol at the officer. Both men saw the officer on the ground to the rear of the patrol vehicle, but neither “he (Laumann) nor Johnson provided any assistance, and the two got back into the Chevy truck and fled the scene.”

An obituary for the late Officer Grove is posted here.


jim boyd's picture

Johnson has to go down - and

Johnson has to go down - and hard.

First of all - he is a known thug - with time behind bars under his belt.

He can join his jailbird friends back in the brig.

My heart, too, goes out to the family and friend of this officer - who was simply doing his job... what an absolute tragedy.

I guess the real tragedy here is that the state was not spared the expense of processing Johnson - as a result of an "accident" when he was arrested - or perhaps he resisted arrest, became dangerous and had to be subdued at the scene and the actions by the officers resulted in the demise of the late Mr. Johnson.

In the old days - that is exactly what would have happened.

In fact, it does not have to be just the old days - it still happens.

None of that would bring the officer back however... and now Mr. Johnson is just another expense for the state - and all for what - a spike buck that most hunters would not shoot anyway...

Gimme a break....

It seems every other article I have read in the last few days has poaching as a central theme... this is a blight on the face of hunting and is just a springboard for anti-hunters.

We are shooting ourselves in the foot here.... collectively.

The good birds have to outweigh the bad ones in our society - I just have not quite figured out how to do it yet...

Sad day for all of us in this article.


My Heart Goes Out to the Family

First and foremost my heart and sympathy goes out to the family of Officer Grove.  I surely hope these guys pay with no ounce of mercy or pity.  Justice will be served on this side or the other.  I have lost 3 soldiers this year.  Its a shame, may God bless the family.

cscott711's picture

I recall reading about this

I recall reading about this tragedy a couple of weeks ago.  How terrible is it that someone would lose their life over something like this?  Senseless tragedies like this are becoming more and more prevalent which shows the direction that our country's moral and ethical compass is headed in.  Something needs to be done on a broad scale to try and get through to the scum of the earth that something really, really bad is going to happen to them if they commit crimes like this.  So many crimes end with acquittals and mistrials and even when these criminals are convicted, many of their punishments are a mere slap on the wrist.  

hawkeye270's picture

I can not believe this. Is it

I can not believe this. Is it really worth it to kill a man over a spike deer? That is just gut wrenching! "I am not going back to prison!" Well, yes you are but maybe not for very long. Hopefully the death penalty will cut his prison sentence short. Forgive me if this sounds a bit harsh but in my mind a tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye is not a very bad policy in dealing with criminals. For someone that devoted their life to protecting wildlife and the hunting opportunities of law abiding citizens to die in this fashion is an absolute tragedy. I get back from a successful elk hunt and this is the news that I have to come back to... that is just sad to know that there are people out there that would take a life over something like this. I agree with you CVC, I believe in second chances but if that doesn't work, than something else needs to happen. Locking people up like this just makes us pay for his existance till the day he dies. I don't know what the solution should be but this is just horrible. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of that officer. My thanks go out to him for his sacrifice.

ecubackpacker's picture

What a tragedy for this to

What a tragedy for this to happen...My thoughts and prays go out to his family.


Ca_Vermonster's picture

This is very sad to see.  i

This is very sad to see.  i used to want to do this, adn even today, I wouldn't mind being a criminal investigator for U.S. Fish and Wildlife, but you have to realize that almost everyone you deal with in this line of work will be armed in one way or another.  It's a very dangerous job.

Thoughts and prayers out to a brother in law enforement.

gatorfan's picture

It's a damn shame indeed! I

It's a damn shame indeed!

I did a little follow-up research and found out that they caught this piece the next morning.  Apparently, he was already a convicted felon and told the officers that he didn't want to go back to prison for being caught with a firearm (big no-no for felons).

So, he was a convicted felon that was out poaching with a firearm that he wasn't supposed to have in his possession in the first place! 

It just makes me furious to read about stories like this of convicted felons re-offending after they have been released from prison.  [We recently had a convicted sex offender kill two young girls out here in San Diego.  The guy should have never been released from prison in the first place but, had his parole office been more diligent and proactive, he should have been monitored much more closely.]  These guys have absolutely no regard for the value of life!

Really?  He killed an innocent man because he was doing his job?  Because he didn't want to go back to prison for breaking the law and his parole restrictions?  I hope he rots (because he probably will live in prison for a long time before he ever is put to death, if ever).

RIP Office Grove... 


CVC's picture

Your post made me realize the

Your post made me realize the we Americans are crazy if you go by the definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  We have been fighting a war on poverty by "enslaving" the poor and making them dependent on the government and wonder why we still have the poor.  We have fought a war on drugs for decades and wonder why we still have a drug problem.  And our war on crime is not faring any better. 

The same people are committing the bulk of the crimes.  We imprison them (sometimes) and they get out and return to crime.  Time after time we read stories of convicted felons murdering someone.  We need to reexamine how we deal with criminals.  The initial focus must be on rehabilitation, but once they use up their second chance I say lock them away for life particularly in the case of violent crimes.

WesternHunter's picture

I agree

I agree.  Crime has always been a part of the landscape in the USA.  Dealing with violent criminals has always been the bane of our existance here.  I think to some degree violence was worse in the past before organized police forces became organized and effective.  Before that it was up to individuals to protect themselves, but not much has really changed today in that regard. There is a solution to signifigantly reduce violent crime here, but it would involved some major violations to the US Constitution.  I think Americans tend to get too caught up only on the whole Rights and Freedoms aspect of things without ever considering the enormous responsibility that comes with having both freedom and independence.  I once read where gun makers like SIG, Glock, and H&K often rely on and gather useful customer feedback and field reports from various agencies and police departments here in the US.  The reason being that European police departments just don't engage in enough violent police shootouts to get the feedback they want in real world field testing.  The first time I visted Switzerland and rented a car I asked the rental agency to circle on maps what parts of the city I should avoid.  The lady at the counter looked puzzled and asked why would I want to avoid certain areas. Being a bit ignorant at the time my reply to her was "crime".  To my embarrasment she said "it's okay you should be safe from violent crime in her country, Switzerland is not like the US".  That was almost 20 years ago and truely was embarrassing.  Although from what I hear lately Europe is getting to be worse as far as violent crime goes.

WesternHunter's picture


It really is a tragedy.  I can only think that the two suspects must have already had a warrant out on one or both of them or some outstanding criminal record to begin with.  No other reason why they would poach then kill an officer to try and get away with it.  It really makes you wonder.  There are some pretty sinsister criminal minded people out there, always has been, it's nothing new to todays society.  They should be locked up for good.

CVC's picture

I posted this earlier this

I posted this earlier this week in the NE forum.  It was very sad to read about it and now seeing his picture brings home the tradgedy even more so.  What is wrong with people today?  It is bad enough poaching, but to take a human life over something like poaching just doesn't make sense.  Have people lost all respect for life and the consequences of their actions.  Not only did they take his life, cause immeasurable harm and grief to his family, but they destroyed their lifes too.  And for what?

Is taking a deer illegally that important?  Why didn't they just get a license and hunt instead of committing the crime that lead to this heinous act.  I hope they get life terms with no parole.