LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. (WBRE/WYOU) – The cleanup after a significant snowfall in Plains Township, Pennsylvania took a tragic and bizarre turn Monday when police say a shoveling dispute left three dead.
Officers responded to reports of a shooting around 9:30 a.m. Neighbors said they were just getting ready to shovel the snow when they heard arguing followed by about a dozen gunshots.
“It was around 9:30 and I heard people yelling and then I heard gunshots and I looked out my window and I saw a gunman and I called 911,” a witness who only identified herself as Michelle said.
When investigators arrived, they found three people dead.
Two of the victims, one found in the middle of the street and another between two parked cars, were husband and wife, said Assistant District Attorney Samuel Sanguedolce.
Police say it started as an argument about shoveling snow – the third person is believed to have opened fire on the couple before going home and turning the gun on himself.
“An apparent murder-suicide, it was a dispute among neighbors,” Sanguedolce said.
Police say the neighborhood was always quiet, until now. The violent events left many on edge Monday.
“[I feel] complete and utter shock because this doesn’t happen in Plains, never did,” Michelle said.
She said she was too shocked by the events to go on camera and was one of many who called 911.
“I was on the phone with 911 when I watched the person shoot someone,” she said.
The Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, the Luzerne County Coroner, Plains Township Police and Pennsylvania State Police Forensic Services Unit all responded to the scene Monday
“Again we haven’t reached any conclusions as to what happened here on West Bergh Street, Plains Township, however it is under an active investigation,” Sanguedolce said.
The preliminary investigation shows two guns were used in the shooting, a pistol and a long gun, both by the same person.