By STEVE SNYDER, BRAD RHEN and LES STEWART
Staff Writers / http://www.ldnews.com/
Updated: 02/11/2011 06:23:18 PM EST
Five state troopers were hailed as heroes Friday after they rescued a 10-year-old girl following the fatal shooting of her mother at their Jackson Township home.
“The acts of these troopers saved this 10-year-old child’s life as well as possibly the lives of the neighbors,” Sgt. Paul Gaspich, commander of the state police’s Jonestown barracks, said during a press conference at the barracks late Friday morning. “The troopers put themselves in harm’s way. … I can’t say enough about these troopers.”
The troopers were not identified.
Troopers were dispatched at 4:11 a.m. after Jonathan Paul Eisenhauer of 496 Kutztown Road called 9-1-1 and said he had shot his wife and dog. The victim, 33-year-old Andrea Eisenhauer, was later pronounced dead at the scene by Lebanon County Coroner Dr. Jeffrey Yocum. The dog also died.
Within 10 minutes of receiving the call, five troopers arrived at the single-family home in the residential neighborhood north of Myerstown.
“They immediately began taking gunfire,” Gaspich said. “As soon as the first trooper stepped out of his vehicle, he was immediately engaged with gunfire.”
Eisenhauer fired on all five troopers with a rifle from a second-floor window, and troopers returned fire, police said. Eisenhauer, who was injured at some point, stopped shooting and retreated from the window, then appeared at a first-floor door holding the 10-year-old girl.
“The troopers did not return fire when they saw the child was a hostage,” Gaspich said.
At that point, troopers formed a tactical plan and reacted quickly, Gaspich said.
“They looked for places of cover, for concealment,” he said. “They used the darkness as cover and rushed at the armed gentleman.”
Eisenhauer released the girl and attempted to retreat into the house, police said. Two troopers entered the home, with one grabbing the girl. The other troopers entered, saw that Eisenhauer no longer appeared to be armed and subdued him with the use of a Taser.
Eisenhauer was taken into custody and transported to the Hershey Medical Center for treatment of a gunshot wound to his shoulder area. He was listed in serious condition on Friday, police said.
The girl is under the care of family members, police said.