Pa. State Police use the Rook, a modified Cat 287C, to breach house in deadly standoff with robbery suspect

Updated Aug 12, 2013
A promotional photo for the Rook from Ring Power Tactical SolutionsA promotional photo for the Rook from Ring Power Tactical Solutions

The tear gas, negotiating and even pleas from his mother and girlfriend hadn’t worked. After cornering robbery suspect Scott Murphy in his home, the Pennsylvania State Police had tried everything to get him out.

Almost everything. After 17 hours of this standoff, they called in the Rook, according to a report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

You may remember the Rook, a heavily modified Caterpillar 287C multi-terrain loader that we profiled in a feature back in April. Ring Power, the Cat dealer for north and central Florida has a team of engineers that retrofits and armors these track loaders for sale to law enforcement officials across the country.

Two of the Rook’s features, its armored deployment platform and hydraulic breaching ram, were used in breaching the robbery suspect’s home. The platform can hold up to four officers behind a a bulletproof steel plate and can raise them to rooftops or second floor windows without a ladder. The plate protects officers from gunfire up to a .50-caliber round.

Using the platform to safely approach the house, it was then raised so the officers could get onto the roof before entering the house through a window. Inside, robbery suspect Murphy was shot several times, but it’s unclear whether the bullet that killed him was a trooper’s or his own.

During the exchange of gunfire inside, Trooper Brian King was shot as well. King was wearing a bullet proof shield and was treated for an eye injury before being released from the hospital.

The Pennsylvania State Police told the Post-Gazette that they paid $246,000 for the Rook, and that the machine has been”a valuable tool for the department to have in protection of the troopers.” They take the Rook on every SWAT call and plan on purchasing a second Rook soon for the Western Pennsylvania tactical team.