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Police: Man Paranoid About Government Agencies Fires Rifle At Neighbor

MUNHALL (KDKA) -- A man is facing charges after a standoff Saturday afternoon in Munhall.

Seven hours after police say Richard Carter fired two shots at his neighbor, the Munhall man was led into the back of a police cruiser. He stopped briefly to address why.

"Personal reasons, problems… uh, a lot of people know about this," he said. "I've been fighting this for two years."

It was around noon when police say Carter, who lives in the 3000-block of Main Street, is accused of firing a rifle at a man who used to be his best friend. Neighbors identify him as Don Lesser. He was outside hanging Christmas lights.

The Munhall Crime Watch posted this message to their Facebook page: "Be advised to avoid the area on Main and Oliver due to PD action due to reports of shots fired. SWAT teams have been dispatched."

The bullets Carter reportedly fired from inside of his home didn't hit his neighbor, but a fragment that ricocheted cut Lesser's lip.

"I don't think he planned to do this," said Kevin Williams, a neighbor. "I would never think Rich is that way because he was a volunteer firefighter, a good man, always a good guy."

Police say Carter then barricaded himself inside of his home.

Munhall Police, the SWAT team and negotiators were brought in to get Carter to surrender. Police say Carter had more than two dozen firearms and thousands of rounds of ammo inside of his house.

"I've known him all my life," said Bill Hartnett, Carter's friend. "When I heard what was going on, I called him up, asked him what he was doing and told him, 'You gotta come out Rich. You gotta give up on this.'"

More than three hours later, Carter surrendered. Police say they've been called to Carter's home before for various things.

They say he's paranoid about government agencies and has even posted anti-government signs outside of his home.

"He has some mental health issues that were aware of. I've spoken to him at length on a few different occasions," said Chief Patrick Campbell, of the Munhall Police.

Several neighbors were evacuated during the standoff. The ones that couldn't were told to stay in their basements.

(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Jeff Roupe)

When the incident ended, the Munhall Crime Watch posted this message to their Facebook page: "The threat on Oliver is over and the suspect surrendered peacefully. PD will be on scene for awhile but Main St is now open."

Carter is facing charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.

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