The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


March 26, 2012

Prank ends in shooting

SHAMOKIN -- A man who admitted to snorting a "yellow, powdery crystal substance" shot his friend in the leg after the friend attempted to scare him by leaping out of a closet.

Police reports state that David Latsha, 59, of 129 S. Third St., Shamokin, was found outside of his residence by officers of the Shamokin Police Department at 4:55 a.m. on Sunday. Officers responded to reports of gunshots in the area.

Latsha, police noted, had slurred speech, acted jittery and reported that he was "seeing people" in and around his home. Officers did not observe anyone in the area.

Upon seeing the officers, Latsha said, "Paul is in there. I just shot him!"

Latsha was ordered to the ground and handcuffed, while police checked inside the residence. They found Paul Kinsey sitting on the second-floor stairs, bleeding heavily from his left leg. They also found a gun inside the house.

Kinsey was moved by officers to the front porch before being taken by ambulance to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. Kinsey was listed in fair condition later Sunday.

Before Kinsey left the scene, officers took a large, wooden-handled kitchen knife from him. The knife was in the waistband of his shorts, police said.

In the Geisinger emergency room, Kinsey told Shamokin police that he was with Latsha, who "snorted some kind of gold-colored powder."

Kinsey said he hid in the closet because he was afraid his girlfriend, Wanda Ebright, had come to the house looking for him. Kinsey said he had two knives at the time.

He then jumped out of the closet to scare Latsha "to be funny." He said Latsha shot him.

"It happened fast," he told officers. "Boom."

Latsha was taken to the Shamokin police station. Shamokin police were assisted by Mount Carmel Township officers at the station, where Latsha was placed in a holding cell. Latsha said he was seeing lights that would disappear, and admitted to snorting a "yellow, powdery crystal substance" earlier in the evening.

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