Police say victim was shot during attack

The victim of an alleged attempted homicide near Coupon was also shot, police said.

Melvin Lee Sollenberger was beat about the head and face with a club late Thursday, but it was only after he was rushed to UPMC Altoona and then UPMC Pittsburgh that a small caliber bullet wound was discovered, Logan Township Police Chief Ron Heller said Tuesday.

It all started at 9:50 p.m., just outside Coupon in Logan Township, when police said Joshua S. Shannon, 23, of Altoona lured Sollenberger out of his home on Maple Street. Using a ruse that his truck was stuck a quarter-mile away, Shannon asked Sollenberger, whom he knew, for help, police said.

After riding a short distance on an ATV, Shannon told Sollenberger he dropped his cellphone. While Sollenberger sat on the parked ATV after Shannon hopped off, he was attacked with a club, according to police.

Sollenberger managed to fight off Shannon, who also attacked him with a stun gun, with a club he kept on the ATV’s front rack and escaped. Although badly injured and bloody, Sollenberger rode home and had his wife call 911.

Heller said Sollenberger didn’t realize he had been shot. It wasn’t until he was taken to Pittsburgh for emergency surgery that medical personnel discovered the gunshot wound in his nasal cavity, police noted.

Sollenberger is recovering, Heller said, and is slated for more surgery this week. Heller said Sollenberger talked to police over the weekend, and the investigation remains ongoing.

Shannon indicated during the attack that he believed Sollenberger had informed police about an unknown matter. Police have declined to comment on the motive for the attack.

Shannon was arrested after the incident and allegedly had blood spattered on his shoes when police arrived at his Altoona home. He remains in Blair County Prison on attempted homicide and related charges in lieu of $100,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday before Magisterial District Judge Steven Jackson.