Over 150 Charges Filed in Cooksburg Standoff; Suspect Allegedly Fired 30 Rounds at Police

imageservletBARNETT TOWNSHIP, Pa. (EYT) – A Cooksburg man faces 152 criminal charges that include attempted homicide following an incident that escalated on Saturday, March 12.

Court documents indicate Marienville-based State Police filed criminal charges against 47-year-old John M. MacBeth, of Cooksburg.

According to a criminal complaint, on March 12, 2016, Trooper Kathleen Watters, of PSP Marienville, responded to 15361 Route 36 in Barnett Township for the report of a man with a gun. A female relative of the suspect identified him as John M. MacBeth and said that “he had been drinking heavily the night before and that she was concerned about his welfare. Around 8:20 a.m., the known woman went to (MacBeth’s) residence in an attempt to talk to him….When he opened his door, he had a handgun in his right hand and was waving it around. (MacBeth) told the female to ‘(expletive) Off,’ and that he wasn’t going anywhere.”

The known woman then left his residence and PSP Marienville was contacted. The known woman reported there “was also an incident that occurred the night before between MacBeth and a known man (an employee of MacBeth’s Cabins),” the complaint states.

The known man advised that “on March 11 around 6:20 p.m., he went to MacBeth’s house to tell him there were some guest in some of the cabins. The known man went up the stairs to (MacBeth’s) door, and when (MacBeth) opened the door, he pointed a handgun right at the known man. The known man said that “he and (MacBeth) are friends, and he could tell that (MacBeth) was under the influence of alcohol,” the complaint indicates.

Troopers from PSP Marienville attempted to make contact with MacBeth, and MacBeth refused to come out of the residence. At this point, Trooper Watters requested a warrant of arrest for MacBeth and a search warrant be issued for the property, the complaint continues.

The State Police Special Emergency Response Tema (SERT) subsequently responded to the scene in an attempt to resolve the situation. At 4:30 p.m. after SERT had deployed gas into the residence, MacBeth began firing shots from a firearm at the SERT members. Between 4:30 p.m. and 5:09 p.m., MacBeth had fired a total of 30 shots at SERT members, according to the complaint.

Police exchanged gunfire with MacBeth several times over the course of the standoff, according to police.

MacBeth surrendered to police without incident around 10:20 a.m. on Sunday.

Police say he was transported to a local hospital for medical evaluation and treatment of minor injuries.

A preliminary arraignment was held on Sunday, March 14, in front of Magisterial District Judge Gregory M. Bazylak.

Police filed two separate criminal complaints on MacBeth. In the first case, police filed two counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person, a second degree misdemeanor.

Judge Bazylak set bail at $50,000.00 monetary for the misdemeanor incident.

In the second incident stemming from the standoff, MacBeth was charged with the following offenses:

  • Criminal Attempt – Criminal Homicide, Felony 1 (30 counts)
  • Aggravated Assault, Felony 1 (30 counts)
  • Aggravated Assault, Felony 2 (60 counts)
  • Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Misdemeanor 2 (30 counts)

Bail was set at $500,000.00 monetary.

Unable to post bail, he was lodged in the Jefferson County Jail.

MacBeth faces a preliminary hearing that is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on May 5 with Judge Bazylak presiding.

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