4 Dead, Including Gunman, in Pennsylvania Shooting

It began at a church
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 21, 2012 12:38 PM CST
Updated Dec 21, 2012 4:00 PM CST

(Newser) – A man fatally shot a woman decorating for a children's Christmas party at a tiny church hall and killed two men elsewhere in a rural central Pennsylvania township today before he was fatally shot in a gunfight with state troopers. The gunman shot through the windows of Juniata Valley Gospel Church, then entered and shot one of two women before he left, said the Rev. James McCaulley. The church had been reeling from the death of its longtime pastor, whose funeral was just yesterday.

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The Blair County district attorney said that there "might be some relation" between at least two of the victims but that they were shot at multiple places in and around the tiny village in Geeseytown, about 70 miles west of Harrisburg. No names were immediately released. Two troopers driving to the scene of one shooting were fired upon by the driver of a pickup truck headed in the other direction, and the truck smashed head-on into a cruiser driven by a third trooper. The truck driver, believed to be the gunman who killed the other victims, exited the truck and fired at the troopers, who returned fire and killed him, police said. All three troopers were hospitalized for injuries not believed to be life-threatening. (Read more Pennsylvania stories.)

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