3 arrests made in killing of sheriff's deputy

Suspects accused of violating Pa. Uniform Firearms Act

Gunman's father, 2 others arrested in killing of deputy

READING, Pa. - Three people were arrested Friday in connection with the deadly shooting of a Berks County sheriff's deputy.

Kyle Pagerly was killed while attempting to serve a warrant in Albany Township on June 29. The alleged gunman, Matthew Connor, was also killed in the shootout.

Arrested Friday were Connor's father, Maurice, a retired police officer from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and two other people, Jared Engelman of Shoemakersville, and Sandra Keim of Kempton.

Connor, 70, and Engelman, 26, were charged with numerous weapons violations in connection with the guns Connor was armed with during the exchange of gunfire with Pagerly, said state police.

Those guns included an AK-47, which was the gun police said Connor used to kill Pagerly.

According to court documents, Engelman said he bought the AK-47 at a store in Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, in 2004, but later sold it to Maurice Connor. The elder Connor, however, told police earlier this month that it was his son who actually bought the gun from Engelman.

Police said Connor told them he also gave his son a .32 caliber semi-automatic pistol, which was found in Matthew Connor's pocket after he was killed.

"This was an individual who was enamered with guns, always wanted guns, and he did everything he could to obtain firearms," said Berks County District Attorney John Adams.

"The more we dug into this, we started finding other weapons that had ended up in Matthew Connor's possession," said Lt. Raymond Guth, Pa. State Police.

The investigation also revealed that Keim, the mother of a friend of Matthew Connor's, bought him three handguns, two in 2004 and one in 2005, according to court documents. None was used in the killing of Pagerly, police said.

"These are just transactions that should never, never have taken place," said Guth.

Matthew Connor was not legally allowed to own or possess any firearms because of numerous run-ins he had with the law since 2000, police said.

"All three individuals readily admitted that they knew he should not have access to weapons," said Guth.

Investigators said at least one of the guns given to Matthew Connor was purchased at Weaknecht's Sporting Goods in Hamburg.  That shop is now closed, but was owned by Sheriff Eric Weaknecht's brother.

The sheriff told 69 News on Friday that his brother is cooperating with the investigation and providing records.

Authorities said they do not believe any of the shop owners in this case had any knowledge of the straw purchases. 

"These dealers wouldn't have been aware," Guth said.

Connor's father told 69 News the day after the shooting that he was devastated by his son's actions on June 29.

"It breaks my heart that some fellow officer of mine loses his life to somebody in my family," said Connor, whose bail was set at $100,000.

Bail for Engelman was set at $35,000.

Both men were committed to the Berks County Jail.

Bail for Keim, 49, was set at $10,000 unsecured.

Adams said each defendant faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison if they're convicted of all the charges.

State police said they seized four firearms as part of their investigation, which was aided by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Berks County District Attorney's office.

DISCLAIMER FOR COMMENTS: The views expressed by public comments are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the TERMS OF USE  and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Your comments may be used on air. Be polite. Inappropriate posts or posts containing offsite links may be removed by the moderator.

Allentown, PA 18102




  • %

This Week's Circulars

Latest from the newsroom