Cumberland Police respond to report of gunfire

January 18, 2013

JEFFERSON – Cumberland Township police charged a Jefferson man with discharging a firearm outside his residence Wednesday.

Gene R. Luff, 53, of 1453 Crucible Road, Jefferson, who is employed as a corrections officer at SCI-Greene, was charged with recklessly endangering another person, simple assault, harassment by striking, shoving or kicking, public drunkenness and disorderly conduct.

Township police responded to a call of shots being fired at the home about 7 p.m. State police and Carmichaels Borough police were called to assist.

Police said Luff came out of the residence after spending about a half-hour with a neighbor, James Goodson, who had gone there at the request of Luff’s wife to speak to him. Luff exited the residence with Goodson, walked down the driveway unarmed and surrendered to police without incident, according to Sgt. Jorel Hanley of the Cumberland Township Police Department.

In an affidavit, Hanley said he spoke with Luff, who told him he had become involved in a fight with his son. Luff allegedly told Hanley he retrieved a rifle, walked out to the front of the residence and then fired a shot into the ground away from others. Hanley said Luff told him he then ejected the cartridge from the rifle onto the porch, went inside and placed the rifle underneath a bed.

Hanley said Luff’s son told him he was having a conversation with his mother in the kitchen when his father came into the room and started yelling. The younger Luff told Hanley he stood up and began to yell back at his father when Luff allegedly hit his son in the face with a fist. The younger Luff said he then started to swing back at his father.

According to the complaint, the son said Luff had fallen to the floor and when he got to his feet, he grabbed an eight-inch knife from the kitchen and began walking toward his wife and son. Luff’s son told police he went out the back door and his mother was pushed out of the doorway after him. The younger Luff told Hanley he and his mother were then locked out of the residence by Luff and a few minutes later heard him come out of the residence with the gun.

The mother and son told Hanley they went to the back of a vehicle where they heard a shot fired but did not know what direction the rifle was pointed because they had taken cover. Hanley said they told him Luff then re-entered the residence and his wife called Goodson to come and speak with him.

Luff was arraigned before Greene County District Magistrate Lee Watson and is currently out on bond.

Tara Kinsell started her career in journalism with the National Geographic Insider Magazine and the Gaithersburg Gazette Newspaper in Montgomery County, Md. Tara has written and photographed sports, features and news stories for the Herald Standard, Greene County Messenger and Albert Gallatin Weekly. She holds degrees in journalism and graphic design from Waynesburg College, now Waynesburg University, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, respectively.

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