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Police: 3 dead in shooting in fight over snow

UPDATED: Mon., Feb. 1, 2021

Associated Press

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — Three people died in a shooting in northeastern Pennsylvania stemming from an apparent argument over snow removal, and a woman with Alzheimer’s disease who reportedly wandered away from her home in Allentown, Pennsylvania, was found dead during Monday’s snowstorm, authorities said.

Officials in Luzerne County said gunfire occurred just before 9 a.m. Monday in Plains Township. Neighbors told WHTM-TV that they heard about a dozen shots.

District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said a husband and wife were found shot to death outside in the street, and the body of the suspected shooter was later found inside a nearby residence, with his wound believed to have been self-inflicted. The county coroner pronounced all three dead just before 11:30 a.m. Monday.

Salavantis said the preliminary investigation indicates that there was a long-running dispute among the parties involved, but “this morning, the dispute was exacerbated by a disagreement over snow disposal.”

The shooter “exited his residence and fired upon the couple, killing both husband and wife,” she said.

The names of the three people weren’t immediately released.

In Allentown, Pennsylvania, authorities say a woman with Alzheimer’s disease who reportedly wandered away from her home was found dead during Monday’s snowstorm.

The Lehigh County coroner’s office said 67-year-old Patricia Becker was pronounced dead on a street shortly after 9:30 a.m. Monday. The cause of death was determined to be hypothermia and the death was ruled accidental. The coroner’s office said she had reportedly wandered away from her residence, which is four blocks away on the same street. Police and the coroner’s office are investigating.

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