January 2, 2006
LOWER TURKEYFOOT TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A standoff between a local prison guard and state police ended with gunfire early Sunday morning on North Street, in Berlin, Somerset County.
The standoff -- which lasted nearly 12 hours -- started in Lower Turkeyfoot Township on New Year's Eve. It ended with the death of 38-year-old prison guard William Leister.
State police said Leister rammed 21-year-old Ashley Bittinger's car off the road -- then fired a gun at her windshield.
Police said Leister then struck Bittinger several times.
A passerby tried to help, police said, but Leister allegedly shot him multiple times and took off with Bittinger -- taking her hostage inside his home.
About 4 a.m. Sunday, police said they exchanged gunfire with Leister.
In the end, Leister was dead. It's not clear whether he killed himself or whether police shot him.