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Police: Dauphin County man charged with homicide after shooting roommate during argument Monday afternoon

Robert Ernest Thomson, 55, of Wisconisco Township, allegedly told police he shot James Leshko during an argument in their residence, state police say.
Credit: Pennsylvania State Police
Robert Thomson

WICONISCO, Pa. — A Dauphin County man has been charged with criminal homicide after State Police say he shot his roommate in his Wisconisco Township apartment Monday afternoon.

Robert Ernest Thomson, 55, of the 200 block of Walnut St., Wisconisco, allegedly called 911 and admitted to shooting and killing James Leshko shortly after 1:30 p.m. on Monday, according to State Police.

Thomson said the shooting occurred during an argument with Leshko, whom Thomson said had been acting erratically and "ranting around" since the early morning hours, according to the criminal complaint affidavit filed by police.

Police say responding officers found Leshko lying on the back porch of the residence, suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. Police and EMTs attempted lifesaving measures, but Leshko was pronounced dead at the scene at about 3:57 p.m., according to the complaint.

Thomson was taken into custody and transported to the State Police barracks in Lykens for questioning, the complaint states.

During his interview with police, Thomson said he and Leshko had lived together in the residence for two years, along with Leshko's mother.

Thomson said Leshko had been awake since 3 a.m. that morning, "ranting around," police say. Leshko had accused Thomson of being in a relationship with Leshko's ex-girlfriend and said Leshko's mother of favoring Thomson. 

These were conspiracies Leshko believed, and they caused him to act erratically at times, Thomson told police.

Thomson told police that Leshko quieted down and went to bed at about 5 a.m., and Thomson awoke at 8 a.m. to go about his day. When he returned to his home around noon, Thomson told police, Leshko and his mother were arguing and Leshko appeared to be acting erratically once again.

At one point, Thomson told police, he felt threatened by Leshko and went inside to retrieve a revolver, leaving Leshko and his mother on the back porch. 

After retrieving his handgun, which he kept hidden from Leshko's sight, Thomson told police he returned to the back porch, where he and Leshko continued arguing.

Thomson allegedly admitted to firing two shots at Leshko, the first of which struck the victim in the chest. Leshko fell to the ground after Thomson fired the second shot, Thomson told police.

Thomson said after shooting Leshko, he called 911, left the revolver on the kitchen table, and went to the front of the home to wait for police to arrive.

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