Suspect ‘belligerent’ before shooting
DEAN – A Clearfield County man is out on bail after being arrested Thursday for last week’s drive-by shooting at George’s Tavern.
According to state police at Ebensburg, Russell Scott Shick, 56, of Beccaria Township got into an argument with a bartender at George’s Tavern about 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 16.
The bartender told police Shick was “belligerent,” bragging that he was still drunk from being at the bar the night before and that he was “in a mood to kick everybody’s ass.”
Police said when the bartender asked him to pick up a pack of cigarettes that he dropped, Shick said he dropped the pack because it was empty. When the bartender asked him again to pick up the cigarettes, police said Shick told the bartender to “kiss his big fat belly.”
Shick then allegedly made another vulgar remark directed at the bartender, at which point her husband got involved, police said.
The husband told police he had heard the remarks while cutting open a package of Halloween decorations with a large folding knife.
He told police he pointed the knife at Shick, told Shick to watch what he said to his wife and then told him to leave the bar, police said.
According to police, as Shick walked out of George’s Tavern, he told the man – who had put away the knife – “You want to bring a knife to a gun fight,” before exiting the bar.
But police said just before midnight, Shick returned to George’s Tavern.
A handful of patrons, including Robert Edgar Jr., 30, of Coalport, were at the bar when they heard a car slowing down outside on Route 53, police said.
The patrons “then heard several pops” and dove to the floor, police said. One witness reported to police that he saw muzzle flashes.
Witnesses told police the car then sped away, heading south on Route 53.
Police said at least five 9 mm shots struck the building, and a sixth struck a vehicle that was parked in front of the bar.
At least three of those shots passed through the front wall into the bar, police said. One struck a folding table, another landed in the bar’s pool table room and a third passed through the barroom wall, ricocheted off a bench in a booth and struck Edgar in the hip. Edgar was taken to UPMC Altoona, where police said he was recovering and in stable condition.
Three days later, police arrested Shick about 6 a.m. at his Beccaria home.
Police said they executed a search warrant and found a Hi Point 9 mm carbine semiautomatic pistol in his home and another in his vehicle, which police said was loaded with one live round. They found two spent casings on the passenger’s side.
Trooper Kenneth Durbin wrote in a criminal complaint that after Shick was read his Miranda rights, Shick told police he was “drunk and
p—ed off” that the bartender’s husband “pulled a knife on him” earlier on the day of the shooting.
Durbin wrote that Shick then admitted to the shooting, saying he drove to the bar and shot at it four times. Shick allegedly told police he was “not trying to kill anyone, I was just trying to [mess] with them.”
Shick is charged with four counts of aggravated assault, four counts of discharging a firearm into an occupied structure and one count of making terroristic threats.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. Nov. 21 before Magisterial District Judge Charity L. Nileski.
Business was back to normal at George’s Tavern on Friday. The bartender declined to comment on the shooting, but said it was her vehicle that was shot at and pointed to bullet holes marked with police tape outside the bar. With a gun holstered on her hip, the bartender said she used to carry it at work, but is doing so more often now, “Since he’s [Shick’s] running around.”