Suspect in shooting claims self-defense

An Altoona man accused of killing a 58-year-old man in the city’s East End repeatedly claimed self-defense during a break in District Court on Friday.

Altoona police charged John Patrick Stiver II, 33, with criminal homicide for allegedly shooting David Alan Hoover in a parking lot at Fourth Avenue and Second Street on Thursday afternoon.

Police claim Stiver and a man named Edward Clem­ens took money from Hoover for cocaine, but failed to deliver. Hoover allegedly had a baseball bat when he approached Stiver, who was sitting in his car in the parking lot. Stiver then fired a shotgun from the driver’s side window, hitting Hoover in the upper chest and neck area.

Magisterial District Judge Daniel DeAntonio told Stiver during his arraignment Friday evening that he could potentially serve life in prison or receive the death penalty if convicted of the criminal homicide charge.

While waiting for the judge in the Fourth Street courtroom, Stiver commented to detectives that it was not his fault that Hoover had a “drug problem.”

Wearing a neon orange hoodie, Stiver sat with his hands handcuffed behind his back and with his head tilted downward.

“So I’m to going jail for self-defense?” Stiver asked while the judge was out of the room. “Ain’t that some shit.” He commented on how possessing a loaded gun was a constitutional right and that the weapon was loaded when it needed to be.

“There’s no evidence, no case,” he said. “I could be walking on the streets right now.”

Stiver described the evidence police had as “circumstantial.” He said as soon as he was out of jail, he was going to get out of the state.

During a break in the case, when Stiver asked about his car, Altoona police Detective Sgt. Marshall Worling told Stiver that his vehicle was impounded. Stiver said to Worling that he thought it was “funny” the police could impound his car.

Worling then told Stiver, the car would probably be “junk” by the time the defendant gets out of jail in 15 to 20 years.

“I think it’s funny you think you can kill someone and not go to jail for a day,” Worling said to Stiver.

When asked by the judge during his arraignment about legal representation, Stiver said he would like a public defender.

Stiver is being held at Blair County Prison without bail. He’s due in District Court for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 8.

Mirror Staff Writer Shen Wu Tan is at 946-7457.