Officer honored for action during shooting


Wednesday night, Patton Township Officer Brian Shaffer was given an award, a badge of honor and a standing oviation at the township Board of Supervisor’s meeting.

He says it’s the training township police regulary recieve that guided him in the situation, and helped him stay calm.

On January 24th, 2019, Jordan Witmer, a twenty-one year-old veteran from Bellefonte shot and killed a father and son at PJ Harrigan’s Bar & Grill and injured a woman named Nicole Abrino.

Officer Brian Shaffer with Patton Township Police, was investigating a case at Ramada Hotel that night when some people from the bar saw him and told him there’d just been a shooting.

He says he found Abrino lying on the ground and quickly tended to her gunshot wound.

“I was holding pressure, she had a sucking chest wound,” Shaffer, said. “All I could do was maintain pressure and try to keep her comfortable and keep her awake until we could get an ambulance in there.”

While Shaffer was applying pressure to Abrino’s injury, he was getting information from her on the shooter and relaying it to officer in pursuit of Witmer.
Police found the twenty-one year old on Waupelani Drive in State College, where he killed another local man and then himself.

Wednesday night at the Patton Township Board of Supervisor’s meeting police Chief Tyler Jolley awarded Shaffer, what he says is an award rarely handed out, the “Life Saving Award”.

“It was the, the quick thinking, the clear-headed thinking of Officer Shaffer, to respond quickly to the scene, to identify a victim, to identify her injury and to provide her with the care,” Chief Jolley, said.

“I wish I could have done more, but it is an honor to receive the award,” Shaffer, said.

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