Home / News / Court documents provide new details in case of murdered security guard

Court documents provide new details in case of murdered security guard

May 16, 2023May 16, 2023


NEW MORGAN BOROUGH, Pa. - Court paperwork for the man accused of fatally shooting one security guard and wounding another is shedding new light on how investigators were able to solve the case.

34-year-old David Hartsook of York is charged in the August 6, 2022 shooting death of Troy Rickenbach.

David Hartsook.

Authorities say Rickenbach and another security guard were in their vehicle patrolling a lot in the 200 block of Quarry Road. The pair were hired to watch the lot, on which dozens of trucks were parked, after a recent rash of catalytic convertor thefts in the area.

According to court documents, the pair made contact with a suspicious van on the lot shortly after midnight on August 6. While Rickenbach approached the van, his partner called 911. Investigators say Rickenbach then ran back to their vehicle and got in the front passenger seat to alert the other security guard that there was someone inside the van.

Investigators say 34-year-old David Hartsook of York, Pa is charged in the 2022 shooting death of 37-year-old security guard Troy Rickenbach.

At the point, Hartsook allegedly walked up to the driver's side of the security vehicle and fired five shots. The other security guard was hit in the forearm as he attempted to drive the vehicle in reverse. As the driver tried to escape, police say Rickenbach told him, "I'm hit."

Documents state the guard then decided to "play dead" and lay between the vehicle's two seats. He allegedly heard the shooter's footsteps as he walked up to the vehicle and again as he walked away. Rickenbach was shot in the torso and was neither moving nor breathing at this time.

Troy Rickenbach was pronounced dead at the scene. The wounded guard was treated at Reading Hospital and later released.

Troy's family is still trying to manage the pain as best they can nearly five months after he was killed. State police say the case is still active and they're working every lead.

Investigators recovered evidence from the scene including bullets, spent shell casings and the air dam from a 2008-2010 Chrysler Town & Country or Dodge Caravan minivan. An air dam is a lower extension of the front bumper used to redirect air flow.

Despite pleas for justice from Rickenbach's family and a widely circulated composite sketch of the shooter, the murder went unsolved for months.

It wasn't until February of 2023 that police got a tip that broke the case wide open.

A York County judge signed a search warrant for Hartsook's home in relation to a burglary investigation being conducted by the Springettsbury Township Police Department. Among the items seized was a 2010 blue and black in color Chrysler Town & Country minivan.

A day after the warrant was served, investigators from Springettsbury Police received information from an individual who said that Hartsook called them while he was incarcerated and asked that they dispose of a firearm in his residence.

According to court documents, the suspect told the individual they would "go to jail" if the gun was not gotten rid of. Police say Hartsook did not explain why, and the individual contacted police who came and removed the firearm from the home.

A composite sketch shows a man who Pennsylvania State Police are calling a "person of interest" in the case of a security guard who was fatally shot in New Morgan.

The firearm, a .32 caliber Colt 1903 semi-automatic pistol, was taken to the Pennsylvania State Police regional laboratory for examination.

State Police technicians also examined the air dam found at the scene and compared it to the bumper on Hartsook's minivan. Investigators concluded both pieces were consistent "in color, construction and chemical composition."

PSP investigators then executed a second search warrant on the van. Inside, they found reciprocating saws, saw blades, grinders, work gloves, head lamps, flashlights, bolt cutters, receipts for scrap metal sales and other items. Court documents state that a trooper with extensive experience in auto theft investigation determined that the seized items are ones commonly used in catalytic convertor thefts.

On March 23, 2023, the State Police laboratory determined that bullets recovered from the homicide scene were fired by the same gun taken from Hartsook's residence.

Hartsook was interviewed by State Police investigators shortly after. Authorities allege he denied ever being on the lot and had no idea how the air dam from his minivan got there. Police say he also stated he never saw the .32 caliber firearm used in the shooting.

Two security guards were approaching a suspicious vehicle when they were met with gunfire just after midnight Saturday.

During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that an individual living at Hartsook's home at the time of the murder had assisted him in the past with stealing catalytic convertors. Police interviewed the man, who told them he was a passenger in the suspect's van the night Troy Rickenbach was killed.

Investigators say the man stayed in the van while Hartsook exited to confront the two security guards. He heard several shots, at which point he alleges that the suspect hopped back in the driver's seat and took off at a high rate of speed. Authorities say the man provided them details that were not made known to the public at the time and could only be known by someone with an intimate knowledge of the events.

David Hartsook was arrested Thursday at his home in York and is being held in Berks County Jail without bail. He's charged with first and third degree murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault and related offenses.

Hartsook has a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 9.

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We are hearing from the family of a security guard who was shot and killed while patrolling in a parking lot in New Morgan Borough this past August.


By DAVID BAUDER - AP Media Writer

By Celebretainment

By Celebretainment

By Celebretainment

Meaghan Darwish, TV Insider

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