The following vignettes describe the circumstances for killings not ruled self-defense by private individuals with permits to carry concealed handguns. The incidents below all occurred in Pennsylvania. The descriptions include the current, known status of any charges filed against the concealed carry killer as reported by news sources as well as noting instances where the perpetrator committed suicide.
The Violence Policy Center welcomes any new information regarding the status of any case (with verifiable source(s)). Use this link to contact the VPC: http://www.vpc.org/contact.htm.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Mark Storms CONVICTED
Date: April 24, 2016
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On April 24, 2016, concealed handgun permit holder Mark Storms, 46, allegedly shot and killed Robert E. Braxton III, 27, at the Keystone Fellowship Church during a Sunday morning worship service. As reported by witnesses to police, Braxton became “verbally disruptive and agitated” during the service when a fellow churchgoer touched him on the shoulder and told him he was in a reserved seat. A church usher and associate pastor intervened and allowed Braxton to remain in the seat. After hearing the commotion, Storms approached Braxton, displayed his concealed weapons permit badge, and told him to leave the church. Braxton then struck Storms in the face and Storms allegedly fired two rounds from his Ruger 9mm pistol killing Braxton. Storms claimed he acted in self-defense, but according to the Montgomery County District Attorney, this “was not a reasonable self-defense situation.” The District Attorney stated, “This is a situation where a gun is introduced into a fistfight. The victim has no weapon upon him.” According to court papers, Braxton “arrived at the service only armed with his Bible,” while Storms attended the service “armed with his loaded Ruger LC9 9mm semi-automatic handgun.” Storms was charged with voluntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment.
UPDATE: On November 3, 2016, Mark Storms was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment in the shooting death of Robert Braxton III.
UPDATE: On April 18, 2017, Mark Storms was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison for the shooting death of Robert Braxton III.
Source: “Man gets 10 to 20 years in Pennsylvania church shooting,” www.mcall.com, April 18, 2017; “Man convicted in deadly shooting during Sunday services,” abcnews.com, November 4, 2016; “Arrest made in Philly church shooting,” baptistnews.com, April 29, 2016.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Unidentified PENDING
Date: January 20, 2016
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On January 20, 2016, an unidentified concealed handgun permit holder, 26, allegedly shot and killed his female cousin, 37, in a dispute over a house in West Philadelphia. According to police, the 37-year-old woman was the owner of the house but the 26-year-old had been living there and refused to leave. The two had been arguing for several months. On the day of the shooting, the woman borrowed a neighbor’s cordless drill and attempted to screw the front door of the house shut. The 26-year-old allegedly fired at least 11 shots, striking the woman twice in the head. She was pronounced dead at the hospital. The 26-year-old was arrested at the scene.
Source: “Woman, 37, shot to death in Powelton; cousin arrested,” philly.com, January 20, 2016.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Patricia Lynn Katchur CONVICTED
Date: June 12, 2015
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On May 13, 2015, concealed handgun permit holder Patricia Lynn Katchur, 55, allegedly shot and killed her husband, Christopher Katchur, 52, in the couple’s house, just two and a half hours after he had obtained a Protection-From-Abuse order. According to news reports, Patricia Lynn Katchur went to their shared home with her sister and two guns. Her husband was not home and because he had changed the locks, she pulled out a first-floor window air conditioner and crawled inside. She then fell asleep having taken a sleeping pill. She woke up two hours later when her husband returned home. The two then got into an argument, and when Katchur told his wife that he was going to call the police she went upstairs to retrieve one of her guns, a .38 revolver. She came back downstairs and allegedly fatally shot her husband on the front porch. In filing the protective order, Christopher Katchur had noted that his wife had a concealed carry permit and that she possessed two guns, stating, “I am in fear that if I stay while she is in a comotose [sic] state who knows what she is capable of doing to me or herself.” After the shooting, the judge who had granted the protection order stated that it was a “red flag” when the subject of such a measure had a firearm.
UPDATE: On January 23, 2017, Patricia Lynn Katchur pleaded guilty to third degree murder in the death of her husband, and was sentenced to 15 to 30 years in prison.
Source: Commonweath of Pennsylvania v. Patricia Lynn Katchur, Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Docket Number: CP-02-CR-0007076-2015; “McKeesport woman charged with killing husband hours after he gets restraining order,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 14, 2015.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Steven Outlaw SUICIDE
Date: March 8, 2015
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On March 8, 2015, concealed handgun permit holder Steven Outlaw, 53, shot his neighbor Mary Pitts-Devine, 46. Outlaw confronted Pitts-Devine in the stairwell of their apartment building in West Philadelphia. During the argument, Outlaw pulled out a gun and shot Pitts-Devine eight times in the torso at point-blank range. He then went to his apartment and fatally shot himself in the head. Outlaw had no criminal record according to news reports, but had previously falsely accused Pitts-Devine of flooding his apartment and wiretapping his phone. Pitts-Devine was sent to the hospital in critical condition.
Source: “Police sources: Feud with neighbor ends in shooting, suicide,” Philadelphia Daily News, March 13, 2015.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Stephen Stidd PENDING
Date: January 16, 2015
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On January 16, 2015, concealed handgun permit holder Stephen Stidd, 64, allegedly shot and killed his son-in-law Melvin Bizzarro, 43, in the rear parking lot of Togi’s Restaurant in Bradford, Pennsylvania using a two-shot Derringer pistol. Bizzarro had once co-owned the restaurant with Stidd. Kevin Rhebergen, who was delivering food to the restaurant the morning of the shooting, told police he observed Stidd and Bizzarro arguing near his truck. While Rhebergen was inside the trailer of his truck, he told police he heard a “bang.” He then observed Bizzarro on the ground with Stidd standing and holding something in his hand. Police determined the muzzle of the gun was one to two feet away from Bizzarro when it was fired. Stidd had received his license to carry a firearm twenty days before the shooting. An employee who spoke to police relayed that Stidd had threatened to shoot Bizzarro several times before. He told police that Stidd allegedly “motioned with his finger as if he was pointing a gun and said, ‘bang bang Bizzarro,’” and on another occasion Stidd allegedly “tapped his pants pocket and told him if the victim came to the restaurant ‘I got something for him.’” When police examined Stidd’s gun, they found a live round inside the weapon that had the word ‘MEL’ carved into the lead bullet. Stidd is being held without bail on one count of homicide.
Source: “Stidd jailed on homicide charge for 2015 shooting,” www.bradfordera.com, April 19, 2017; Pa. man who allegedly shot son-in-law carved victim’s name on bullet: cops,” www.pennlivecom; January 21, 2015.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Herbert Hart CONVICTED
Date: October 11, 2014
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On October 14, 2014, concealed handgun permit holder Herbert Hart, 26, shot and killed his fiancee’s ex-boyfriend Robert Wilson, 35, when Wilson attempted to visit his daughter at Hart’s home. According to prosecutors in the case, when Wilson showed up at Hart’s home, Hart was “filled with anger toward Mr. Wilson.” According to witnesses, Wilson raised his arms with his hands open, backed away from his daughter’s mother, and said he meant no disrespect by coming to the house. Hart responded that Wilson disrespected them by being on his property and shot Wilson once in the upper chest. After the shooting, Hart claimed that Wilson threatened him and that he was acting in self defense. On June 26, 2015, Hart was found guilty of third degree murder and faces a maximum of 40 years in prison.
Source: “Homewood man found guilty of third-degree murder in shooting at his home,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 26, 2015; “Testimony begins in trial of man accused in fatal shooting in Homewood,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 23, 2015.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Tyrell Styles SUICIDE
Date: July 26, 2014
People Killed: 2 (including shooter)
Circumstances: On July 26, 2014, concealed handgun permit holder Tyrell Styles, 26, shot and killed his five-year-old son Cion Styles, and wounded the boy’s mother, Sheyma Washington, before shooting himself in the head. According to police, Tyrell Styles shot Cion in the head and Washington in the face and buttocks outside as apartment building before fleeing in a white Pontiac Grand Prix. A few minutes later, police observed his car running red lights and crashing into a pickup truck before continuing with police in pursuit. The car turned onto a dead end street and as officers approached the stopped vehicle Styles shot himself in the head.
Source: “Police: Dad fatally shoots 5-year-old son; turns gun on boy’s mother, self,” philly.com, July 29, 2014.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Kylie Marie Sage SHOT AND KILLED DURING INCIDENT
Date: August 11, 2013
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On August 11, 2013, concealed handgun permit holder Kylie Marie Sage, 23, was unintentionally shot and killed with her own gun by her cousin, Jeremy Hamborsky, 24. According to the victim’s family, Sage was sitting in a pickup truck with a friend along with Hamborsky and his girlfriend. According to police, Sage handed the handgun to Hamborsky, telling him that it wasn’t loaded. Hamborsky moved the pistol’s slide and the gun went off, killing Sage. A family friend said that Sage believed in self-protection. Hamborsky was charged with involuntary manslaughter and was freed on bond.
Source: “Connellsville man jailed after accidentally shooting cousin with her new gun,” wtae.com, August 12, 2013.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Isiah Smith CONVICTED
Date: August 3, 2013
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On August 3, 2013, concealed handgun permit holder Isiah Smith, 23, shot and killed Zachary Sheridan, 24, following a fight. Surveillance cameras near the scene showed Sheridan punching Smith and striking a woman before Smith pulled out a handgun and fired at Sheridan while Sheridan was running away. Smith testified that he was acting in self-defense. According to the judge in the case, a defendant must reasonably believe they are in danger for a self-defense plea to hold merit. The judge said that while Smith may have felt threatened, this wasn’t reasonable since Sheridan was fleeing when the shots were fired. Before rendering his verdict the judge stated, “What is certain is that the defendant brought a pistol to a fist fight, a fist fight in which there was almost certainly a consumption of a significant amount of alcohol.” Manning found Smith guilty of voluntary manslaughter which could carry a sentence of up to 20 years.
Source: “Judge delivers verdict in Forbes Avenue shooting,” The Pitt News, April 7, 2014.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Lawrence Jeffries CONVICTED
Date: January 1, 2013
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On January 1, 2013, concealed handgun permit holder Lawrence Jeffries, 23, shot and killed Stephen Johnson, 22, and wounded Kyle Morris and Kashief Butler, both 22, after a fight at a New Year’s party. The shootings occurred at approximately 3:30 AM when a fight started after one person stepped on another’s shoe. Jeffries claimed that after Johnson swung at him and he saw one of his friends being punched and kicked, he fired in self defense, using a 40 caliber pistol he had purchased a week earlier as a Christmas gift for himself. On November 3, 2014, Jeffries was found guilty of third-degree murder and other related charges. He faces up to 50 years in prison.
Source: “Glenside man convicted in New Year’s party slaying,” Philadelphia Inquirer, November 4, 2014.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: William Allabaugh CONVICTED
Date: September 9, 2012
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On September 9, 2012, concealed handgun permit holder William Allabaugh, 24, “described as an unemployed loner with a fascination for guns, simply flipped out and started firing his semi-automatic pistol afer being asked to leave the [Bonnie’s Food and Spirits] bar because customers complained he was armed….” By the time the shooting was over, Allabaugh allegedly had shot and killed one innocent bystander and wounded another before being shot and injured by a second concealed handgun permit holder, Mark Ktytor, 35. Allabaugh had been asked to leave the bar twice after customers complained that he was armed. Having already been warned for making racial slurs, Allabaugh was approached by bar employee Bob Wallace, who, acting on a customer’s complaint, asked Allabaugh if he was armed. Allabaugh stated that he wasn’t. Soon after, another customer complained that Allabaugh was armed, stating that he saw his gun. When Wallace instructed Allabaugh to leave the bar, Allabaugh shot patron Stephen Hollman, 29, who had been sitting next to Allabaugh but had not interacted with him, in the head with a .380 pistol. After leaving the bar, Allabaugh then opened fire again, fatally hitting patron Scott Luzetsky, 39, as he was fleeing the bar to return to his home a few blocks away. Allabaugh was then shot by Ktytor multiple times. According to news reports, Allabaugh had been discharged from the U.S. Air Force and had “an obsession with guns and ammunition” with “[n]early every post and photo” on his Facebook page profile involving guns. His lone listed interest was “AK-47.” Allabaugh had no criminal history, not even a traffic ticket. Allabaugh was charged in an arraignment held at his hospital bedside with criminal homicide and attempted homicide.
UPDATE: On October 15, 2013, William Allabaugh pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and attempted murder. As part of the plea agreement, Allabaugh will serve 25 to 50 years in prison.
Source: “Man pleads guilty to Plymouth shootings,” citizensvoice.com, October 16, 2013; “Plymouth shooting suspect charged in hospital,” citizensvoice.com, September 13, 2012; “Police: Plymouth shooter wasn’t provoked, citizensvoice.com, September 12, 2012.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Kevin M. Cleeves CONVICTED
Date: July 27, 2012
People Killed: 3
Circumstances: On July 27, 2012, concealed handgun permit holder Kevin M. Cleeves, 35, allegedly shot and killed his wife, Brandi N. (Killingsworth) Cleeves, 25, her boyfriend, Vincent Luke Santucci, Jr., 28, and Rosemary Holma (Santucci’s mother), 55, in the driveway of the home that Santucci shared with his mother. Cleeves had apparently gotten into an argument with the victims while meeting them to pick up his daughter. Cleeves then reportedly fled with his four-year-old daughter, Leia. He was captured seven hours later in a Youngstown, Ohio, suburb. A Glock handgun was found in his car. Cleeves’ carry permit listed “self-defense” as his reason to carry and the permit had been renewed on February 22. Cleeves was charged with three counts of criminal homicide and additional charges.
UPDATE: On May 10, 2013, Kevin M. Cleeves pleaded guilty to three counts of first degree murder and was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences without parole. He was also required to pay $1,500 in fines and $30,869.46 in restitution.
Source: “Triple murderer Kevin Cleeves gets life without parole,” therecordherald.com, May 11, 2013; “Three life sentences, no chance for parole for Kevin Cleeves in Quincy Killings,” Chambersburg Public Opinion, undated; “Man charged in Quincy triple slaying returned to Pa. From Ohio,” herald-mail.com, August 6, 2012; “Update: Additional Charges brought against Kevin Cleeves,” fox43.com, July 28, 2012.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Andrew Gesslein II CONVICTED
Date: April 29, 2012
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: In the early morning of April 29, 2012, concealed handgun permit holder Andrew Gesslein II, 42, allegedly shot and killed Michael M. Randolph, 23, with a handgun. Gesslein was working as a security guard at the back entrance of the North End Republican Club, a private “after hours” club in Allentown. Gesslein told police that Randolph and two friends repeatedly tried to gain access to the club, which he would not allow. At one point Randolph and his friends threatened Gesslein, and he and Randolph eventually got into a struggle. Gesslein stated that as Randolph and his friends were starting to head toward the exit, however, Randolph stopped, turned around, and reached into his waistband. Gesslein then opened fire, hitting Randolph in the back, abdomen, and right thigh, killing him. After a six-week investigation, authorities stated that Randolph had no weapon nor did he pretend to have one. Although he was working as a security guard, Gesslein was not authorized to be armed. Gesslein was charged with voluntary manslaughter and sent to prison without bail. If convicted he would face 10 to 20 years in prison.
UPDATE: On April 4, 2013, a jury found Andrew Gesslein II guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Randolph, rejecting his claim of acting in selfdefense. The doctor who performed the autopsy on Randolph testified that Randolph’s bullet wounds were consistent with the prosecution’s theory that Randolph was hunched forward and running away from Gesslein when he was shot. The doctor testified that Randolph was shot in the right abdomen from the side, in the back, and in the back of his right leg. Gesslein was sentenced to five to 10 years in prison.
UPDATE: On November 8, 2013, a judge vacated Gesslein’s voluntary manslaughter conviction and granted him a new trial. On November 12, 2013, the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office filed an appeal of the judge’s ruling, sending the case to Superior Court. On June 16, 2014, Gesslein had bail set at $250,000 while he awaits the appeal of the order which would grant him a new trial.
UPDATE: On December 8, 2014, a state appeals court ruled that Gesslein’s voluntary manslaughter conviction should be restored, but that his five to 10 year prison sentence was illegal, and ordered the case back to Lehigh County for a new sentence.
Source: “Court restores conviction of security guard in club shooting,” The Morning Call, December 9, 2014; “Judge OKs bail in rapper’s death,” The Morning Call, June 18, 2014; “Former club bouncer still in prison, even though judge tossed conviction,” The Morning Call, March 17, 2014; “Guard jailed for killing rapper appeals conviction,” The Morning Call, June 20, 2013; “Jury convicts North End Republican Club guard of voluntary manslaughter,” The Morning Call, April 5, 2013; “Security guard charged with manslaughter in Allentown club killing,” The Morning Call, June 7, 2012.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Robert Jones CONVICTED
Date: April 28, 2012
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On April 28, 2012, concealed handgun permit holder Robert Jones, 36, allegedly shot and killed Sandrea Smith, 35. Jones was allegedly showing off what he thought was an unloaded gun in his home when the gun went off striking Smith in the face and killing her. Jones had taken gun-safety classes to be certified as an armed security guard, a job he was set to begin the day after the shooting incident. Jones had a concealed handgun permit issued from the state of Florida. Jones was charged with third degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, endangering another person, and weapons charges.
UPDATE: Robert Jones was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Sandrea Smith.
Source: Tweet from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, April 5, 2013; “Man showing off gun is charged in shooting death,” philly.com, April 29, 2012.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Robert William Duda CONVICTED
Date: September 15, 2011
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On September 15, 2011, concealed handgun permit holder Robert William Duda, 44, shot and killed his son Bryan Duda, 14, as he was cleaning his handgun. According to court documents, Duda was cleaning his .380 handgun in his living room, and joking around with his son Bryan. Duda pointed his gun toward his son who was lying on the couch. Duda thought the gun was unloaded, but it discharged, striking Bryan in the side below his armpit. Bryan Duda was rushed to the hospital where he died later that day. Duda pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, and in December 2012 he was sentenced to five years of probation, 100 hours of community service, and a $500 fine.
Source: “Father sentenced to probation for accidentally shooting son,” dailyamerican.com, December 5, 2012.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Robert Klepic UNINTENTIONAL
Date: August 21, 2011
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On August 21, 2011, concealed handgun permit holder Robert Klepic allegedly fatally shot and killed his wife Beverly Klepic, 61, with a 9mm Kel-Tec pistol he owned while the two were in a gun store to buy her a similar handgun. According to state police, an “immediate male relative” was handling a pistol that he owned when the weapon fired, hitting Klepic, who later died at an area hospital. Robert Klepic, who had been a well-known radio personality in the region under the name Bob Alexander, had become a probation officer after retiring from the airwaves.
Source: “Former radio personality Bob Alexander is the husband of weekend gun shop shooting victim,” Pennlive.com, August 24, 2011; “Woman shopping for pistol ‘like her husband’s’ is fatally shot by him at Pennsylvania gun shop,” MailOnline, August 23, 2011.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Melissa Harris SUICIDE
Date: June 5, 2011
People Killed: 2 (including shooter)
Circumstances: On June 5, 2011, concealed handgun permit holder Melissa Harris, 43, shot and killed her estranged partner, Lisa Goss, 46, in Goss’ home with a 38 caliber handgun before taking her own life. Harris had lived with Goss up until two months prior and was moving some items out of the home where Goss lived with her two children when an argument broke out. According to news reports, Goss’ 17-year-old son heard the argument and then a loud bang. When he opened his bedroom door, Harris fired a shot at him, missing. The teen locked himself in his room and called 911, then heard another shot. When police arrived they found Harris and Goss, each dead from a single bullet wound to the head.
Source: “York woman fatally shot ex-girlfriend, then killed herself,” The York Dispatch, June 6, 2011.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Danny Keith Kirtley CONVICTED
Date: February 10, 2011
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On February 10, 2011, concealed handgun permit holder Danny Keith Kirtley, 48, allegedly shot and killed Trevor Casey Compton, 34, with a 38 caliber handgun. The incident occurred at Rosenbloom Welding, where both men worked. According to township police Lt. Dan Levi: “We just know the dispute was work-related and were told Kirtley started it….He came into the building, got into an argument with another co-worker, who punched him and knocked him to the ground. The other co-worker left the building when Kirtley started to reach in his pocket.” Police stated that Compton told Kirtley to stay on the floor, but that Kirtley got up and shot Compton. Kirtley had a Texas concealed handgun permit. Pennsylvania’s reciprocity agreement with Texas allowed him to legally carry the weapon. Kirtley was charged with homicide, two counts of aggravated assault, and one count of simple assault.
UPDATE: On September 18, 2012, Danny Keith Kirtley was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and two counts of aggravated assault in the death of Trevor Compton. Kirtley was sentenced to seven to 20 years in prison.
Source: “Texas man faces up to 20 years in prison for killing co-worker,” observer-reporter.com, November 28, 2012; “Work argument may have lead to fatal shooting,” www.thealmanac.net, February 16, 2011.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Marqus Hill CONVICTED
Date: September 12, 2010
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On September 12, 2010, concealed handgun permit holder Marqus Hill, 28, allegedly shot and killed 18-year-old Irving Santana after Santana reportedly broke into Hill’s car. Seeing Santana and two others breaking into his car, Hill left a house and allegedly shot the unarmed Santana 13 times, killing him. Hill’s Pennsylvania concealed handgun permit had been revoked in 2005 after he was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and related offenses. The charges were eventually expunged, and Hill appealed the revocation. When his appeal was denied in 2008, Hill became irate and assaulted a police officer resulting in charges of aggravated and simple assault, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. Hill was found guilty on the charge of disorderly conduct. Denied a Pennsylvania concealed handgun permit, Hill applied for and received a concealed handgun permit from Florida which—despite the revocation of Hill’s Pennsylvania carry permit by Philadelphia police—must be honored in Pennsylvania because of a reciprocity agreement between the two states. According to news reports, at a news conference following the shooting, Deputy Police Commissioner William Blackburn “blasted the loophole in state law that allowed Hill to legally carry a gun despite the Police Department’s best attempts to stop him.” Said Blackburn, “If we, in Philadelphia, deny someone the privilege to carry a handgun based on something in their background, they should not then be able to apply online and get a gun permit. We would like to have that right reserved for us in the Philadelphia area.” Hill was charged with murder and related offenses in the shooting of Santana.
UPDATE: On August 3, 2012, Marqus Hill was sentenced to eight to 20 years in prison in the death of Irving Santana. Hill was convicted of third degree murder and possession of an instrument of crime in the incident.
Source: “Philadelphia man with Florida gun permit convicted in killing,” philly.com, August 3, 2012 “Man charged in slaying had Fla. gun permit,” Philadelphia Daily News, September 16, 2010.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Yvonne Hiller CONVICTED
Date: September 9, 2010
People Killed: 2
Circumstances: On September 9, 2010, concealed handgun permit holder Yvonne Hiller, 43, allegedly shot and killed co-workers Tanya Renee Wilson, 47, and LaTonya Sharon Brown, 36, following an argument at the Philadelphia Kraft Foods plant where they worked. Hiller, a 15-year Kraft employee, had fought with Brown and Wilson for at least two years, accusing the two of throwing chemicals at her and talking behind her back. Following her latest accusations, Hiller’s supervisor suspended her and told her to leave the plant. Hiller then went to her car, retrieved a .357 Magnum handgun, and returned to the plant, pointing the handgun at two security guards as she demanded reentry. Once back inside the plant, she found Brown, Wilson, and two other co-workers in a third-floor break room. She allowed one woman to leave, stating that she had no quarrel with her. She then allegedly opened fire, shooting Brown once in the head at close range and Wilson in the side. A third employee, Bryant Dalton, 39, was shot in the neck and wounded. Hiller then reportedly hunted down the supervisor who had suspended her in the hallway and fired at him, but missed. Hiller also fired at a mechanic who followed her throughout the building, shouting at co-workers to flee and reporting her movements to 911 via a cell phone. Hiller then allegedly fired at officers as they arrived on the scene. Forty minutes after the shooting began, SWAT officers stormed the building, apprehended Hiller, and freed her co-workers. Hiller was charged with two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, aggravated assault, and other charges.
UPDATE: On September 10, 2012, Yvonne Hiller was convicted on two counts of first degree murder. Prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty in return for Hiller waiving her right to mount an insanity defense or have a jury trial. Hiller faces a life sentence for the killings. The judge in the case expressed outrage that Hiller was able to obtain a permit to carry. “Why was it so easy for Ms. Hiller to get a gun?,” Judge Benjamin Lerner asked. “How in the world, under Pennsylvania law, could she have been allowed to have a permit to carry?”
Source: “Philly food plant worker found guilty of killing 2,” Associated Press, September 10, 2012; “Police: Feuds led Pa. woman to shoot colleagues,” Associated Press, September 11, 2010; “Brewing for years, rage turned deadly at Kraft building,” Philadelphia Daily News, September 11, 2010.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Paul Hansen CONVICTED
Date: June 12, 2010
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On June 12, 2010, Melissa Barnes, 28, was hosting a party when she learned that a member of the band she had hired was threatening a guest. Barnes confronted Paul Hansen, the bass player for the cover band Disorderly Conduct. Hansen then drew a 40 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun and allegedly shot Barnes once in the head. Hanson, 29, who called himself the “Interstate Madman” on his MySpace page, called police after the shooting but then fled on foot. He was apprehended by partygoers. The day before the shooting Barnes wrote on his MySpace page that he was “ready to give up on life.” Hansen, who had a concealed handgun permit, faces numerous charges including criminal homicide. After the shooting, Newberry Township Police Chief John Snyder told reporters, “I don’t know what started the argument. All I know is that he [Hansen] became physical with her female friend, which then, the victim came to her aid and for helping her friend, she paid with her life.”
UPDATE: On July 13, 2011, Hansen was found guilty of first degree murder in the shooting death of Melissa Barnes. At trial, the defense argued that Hansen was just trying to scare Barnes when the gun went off. Prosecutors showed that the gun could not have gone off accidentally and three witnesses testified that Hansen aimed the gun at Barnes’ head and fired. Hansen faces a mandatory term of life in prison without parole.
Source: “Band player found guilty of murdering party host,” whptv.com, July 13, 2011; “Musician charged in party killing,” PennLive.com, June 14, 2010; “York deadly shooting investigation,” CBS 21 News, June 14, 2010.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Yaritza Alvarado UNINTENTIONAL
Date: January 8, 2010
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On January 8, 2010, eight-year-old Jose Alvarado unintentionally shot himself in the chest with a handgun he found in the family home. His mother, Yaritza Alvarado, had a concealed handgun permit.
UPDATE: In March 2010, Jose Alvarado’s father was charged with involuntary manslaughter as a result of the shooting.
Source: “Dad charged in shooting death of Allentown boy, 8,” The Morning Call, March 11, 2010; “8- year-old Shoots Self, Dies,” NBC Philadelphia, January 11, 2010; “Coroner says Allentown boy’s death was ‘terrible accident,’” The Morning Call, January 10, 2010; “8-year-old Jose Alvarado Jr. fatally shot in apparent accident,” The Morning Call,” January 9, 2010.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Kirk Caldwell CONVICTED
Date: December 25, 2009
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On December 25, 2009, Kirk Caldwell, 44, allegedly shot and killed his 21-year-old son Jordan Caldwell following a confrontation in their home. Kirk Caldwell, the pastor at Philadelphia’s End Times Harvest Mission for Christ, allegedly fired a single shot from his 40 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol, striking his son in the chest. According to an affidavit based on a taped statement from the elder Caldwell, two of his other sons told him Jordan had “hit a girl and stole her car” and that she was now on the front porch crying. When the elder Caldwell came downstairs he stated that he found Jordan “punching, hitting and throwing other family members around the house.” When Kirk Caldwell approached his son to calm him, he was thrown to the floor. Kirk Caldwell then went upstairs to change from his pajamas into street clothes and heard someone say that his son had a knife. Kirk Caldwell then returned downstairs, got his handgun from a suit coat pocket, pointed it at Jordan, and told him to stop. Jordan continued walking toward his father and when he reached into his pocket his father pulled the trigger. Kirk Caldwell had a concealed handgun permit for his handgun but had never fired the gun prior to the shooting. Caldwell was arraigned on first and third degree murder charges, as well as simple assault, aggravated assault, and recklessly endangering another person.
UPDATE: In July 2010 Caldwell pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to two to four years in prison minus time served.
Source: “Pastor sentenced for killing son on Christmas,” Philadelphia Daily News, July 13, 2010; “Hearing scheduled for pastor accused of shooting his son,” Delaware County Daily Times, December 30, 2009.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Greg Baker CONVICTED
Date: December 3, 2009
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On December 3, 2009, Greg Baker shot and killed Thomas Daughtery and wounded his estranged wife Linda Baker. Baker was driving through the parking lot of the East Rochester Shopping Plaza in the afternoon when he spotted his wife with Daughtery outside the Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe. Witnesses reported that Baker initially shot the two victims, returned to his vehicle, and then came back to fire more shots. Police said Baker fired five shots with a .40 handgun, which he was licensed to carry. The Bakers had been separated for at least several weeks and Greg Baker was reportedly depressed over the breakup. Baker surrendered to police shortly after the shooting and was charged with homicide, aggravated assault, criminal intent, and reckless endangerment.
UPDATE: On February 15, 2011, a jury found Greg Baker guilty of third-degree murder, reckless endangerment, and two counts of aggravated assault. He was found not guilty of first-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, and attempted homicide. On April 1, 2011, Baker was sentenced to serve 30 to 60 years in prison.
Source: “New Sewlickley man sentenced to 30 to 60 years for East Rochester fatal shooting,” timesonline.com, April 2, 2011; “New Sewickley man charged with homicide in East Rochester shooting,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 4, 2009; “One dead, suspect arrested in East Rochester shooting,” Beaver County Times, December 3, 2009.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Jonathan Reyes CONVICTED
Date: November 21, 2009
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On November 21, 2009, Jonathan Reyes’ handgun discharged as he was attempting to holster it, the bullet fatally injuring Blaine Salutric. Reyes, Salutric, and a third man were eating pizza in an apartment. Salutric was walking out of the kitchen with a slice of pizza as Reyes was attempting to holster his .380 pistol. The gun discharged, the bullet striking Salutric in the lower right abdomen. Salutric was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead later that night. Reyes had no criminal record and had a concealed handgun permit. He was charged with criminal homicide.
UPDATE: In May 2010 Reyes pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to two to four years in state prison under the terms of the plea agreement. Reyes testified that he is “very against guns” but said that he began to carry one to protect himself and his family. He said that he had had a gun pulled on him 12 times, his brother had been shot at twice, and his mother had been “jumped by 30 people.” Reyes told the court that he had obtained a concealed handgun permit because he was the only one in his family who could do so legally.
Source: “Uniontown man pleads guilty to friend’s slaying, gets four years,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 4, 2010; Uniontown man charged with homicide in gun accident,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 23, 2009.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Shannon L. Mayo, Sr. CONVICTED
Date: October 6, 2009
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On October 6, 2009, concealed handgun permit holder Shannon L. Mayo, Sr., 56, shot and killed Donnell McIntyre, 34. During his trial, Mayo claimed that McIntyre had robbed him at gunpoint a few hours before the slaying. Mayo, standing outside his home, later saw McIntyre and pulled out his 40 caliber handgun. Mayo claimed that when McIntyre refused to take his hand out of his pocket, he was afraid that he had a gun, so he shot the unarmed McIntyre three times. During the trial the senior deputy prosecutor characterized Mayo’s self-defense claim as “ludicrous.” In November 2011 Mayo was found guilty of third degree murder.
Sources: “Mayo guilty of third-degree murder,” The York Daily Record, November 4, 2011; “More testimony in murder trial of man who claims self-defense,” The York Dispatch, November 1, 2011
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: George Sodini SUICIDE
Date: August 4, 2009
People Killed: 4 (including shooter)
Circumstances: On August 4, 2009, George Sodini, 48, opened fire at an LA Fitness Center in Collier, Pennsylvania, killing three women and wounding nine others before turning the gun on himself. Sodini entered the club shortly before 8:00 PM armed with two 9mm pistols with 30-round magazines, a .45 pistol, and a .32 pistol. He was also carrying two additional 30-round magazines in a gym bag. Sodini then walked into an exercise class where an aerobics class was underway and turned the lights off. He then walked further into the room and started firing, emptying one of his 9mm pistols. Drawing the second 9mm, he opened fire again, stopping with 12 rounds still in the magazine. Sodini fired at least 36 rounds from his two 9mm pistols before shooting himself in the head with the .45 handgun. The entire episode lasted approximately one minute. A note recovered from Sodini’s bag complained about being rejected by women and expressed his hatred toward them. Detectives found four rifles and shotguns in his house as well as a typewritten note in which Sodini said he planned to kill himself. Sodini had a concealed handgun permit and legally possessed the guns used in the shooting. In his blog, Sodini revealed that he had attempted to carry out the shooting on a prior occasion, entering the club with loaded weapons, but did not go through with the attack. In the journal he also expressed rage at family members and frustration at not being able to “connect” with women. The day before the shooting he wrote, “I took off today, Monday, and tomorrow to practice my routine and make sure it is well polished. I need to work out every detail, there is only one shot….Total effort needed. Tomorrow is the big day.”
Source: “LA Fitness shooter had lethal plan,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 6, 2009.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Johan Pujols CONVICTED
Date: August 1, 2009
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On August 1, 2009, concealed handgun permit holder Johan Pujols shot and killed Yeury Colon, 25, outside the Club 570 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Pujols claimed he was acting in self-defense and testified at his trial that he was surrounded when he fired his .380 handgun and wounded Luis Perez-Rodriguez. He protested that he then shot Colon unintentionally. Prosecutors assailed the credibility of defense witnesses who had failed to talk to police after the shootings. Prosecutors also questioned why Pujols wore a gun on his ankle if he never intended to shoot anyone as he claimed. A jury convicted Pujols of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced him to two and a half to five years.
Source: “Pujols sentenced to 2 1/2 to 5 years for manslaughter,” standardspeaker.com, March 17, 2011; “Pujols: ‘I never intended to shoot anybody.’”citizensvoice.com, February 15, 2011; “Pujols found guilty of manslaughter,” timesleader.com, February 15, 2011.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Joel Atkin CONVICTED
Date: April 25, 2009
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On April 25, 2009, Joel Atkin shot and killed Jayson Sack after Sack walked into the street to yell at Atkin to slow down as he drove his car down East 20th Street. Atkin told police that Sack was blocking the road and wouldn’t move so he pulled his gun on Sack. Sack then tried to disarm Atkin at which point Atkin allegedly shot and killed him. Atkin told police that he kept one round in the .357 revolver’s cylinder empty so it would not accidentally go off. As a result, he had to fire more than once in order to shoot Sack. Atkin, who had a permit to carry a concealed handgun, was charged with homicide, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, and possession of instruments of crime. Atkin was convicted of third degree murder, aggravated assault, and reckless endangerment. He was acquitted on charges of possessing an instrument of crime.
Source: “Man convicted of 3rd-degree murder in Pa. shooting,” Associated Press, January 16, 2010; “Shooter: ‘He rushed me,’” Erie Times-News, April 28, 2009.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Richard Poplawski CONVICTED
Date: April 4, 2009
People Killed: 3
Law Enforcement Officers Killed: 3
Circumstances: On April 4, 2009, white supremacist Richard Poplawski shot and killed police officers Stephen Mayhle, Paul Sciullo, and Eric Kelly while injuring another. Among the guns used in the shootout by Poplawski were an AK-47 assault rifle, a pistol, and a shotgun. He had a concealed handgun permit despite a former girlfriend having obtained a protection-from-abuse order against him. Poplawski’s mother told police that he had been “stockpiling guns and ammunition…because he believed that as a result of the economic collapse, the police were no longer able to protect society.” She additionally stated that “her son ‘only liked police when they were not curtailing his constitutional rights, which he was determined to protect.’” Poplawski was charged with three counts of criminal homicide and one count of aggravated assault. He pled not guilty. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
UPDATE: On June 26, 2011, Poplawski was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder as well as 25 other crimes. He was sentenced to death.
Source: “Poplawski is sentenced to death; police clap for jury,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 28, 2011; “Poplawski guilty on all counts,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 26, 2011; “Poplawski bought guns through shop in Wilkinsburg,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 7, 2009; “Who is Richard Poplawski? Friends, Family Talk About Pittsburgh Suspect in Police Officers’ Triple-Killing,” ThePittsburghChannel.com, April 6, 2009; “Pittsburgh police shooting arraigned by computer,” Associated Press at philly.com, June 1, 2009
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: George Zadolnny SUICIDE
Date: December 16, 2008
People Killed: 2 (including shooter)
Circumstances: On December 16, 2008, George Zadolnny, 59, shot and killed Deborah Bachak, 46, at the Lockheed plant where the two worked. Zadolnny then shot and killed himself. The two had been dating but Bachak had ended the relationship several weeks earlier. Zadolnny was one of only a few allowed to have a gun in the facility. He was the employee of an outside security company.
Source: “Murder-suicide at plant,” Patriot News, December 17, 2008; “Murder-Suicide at Lockheed Martin Plant,” wnep.com, December 16, 2008.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Fernando Gotay CONVICTED
Date: December 5, 2008
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On December 5, 2008, Donald Spry, 22, was shot and killed by Fernando Gotay, 25, after a botched robbery attempt that occurred while Spry and two others were reportedly buying four ounces of marijuana from Gotay, a drug dealer who had a concealed handgun permit. Spry, his half-brother Jared Goodwin, and Tyree Harris went to a home to meet Gotay and his brother-in-law, Peter Melendez, to purchase the drugs. During the drug deal, Spry went to the bathroom and reemerged pointing a .357 Magnum handgun at Melendez. Gotay then pulled a 9mm handgun and Goodwin displayed a .45 caliber handgun. The two exchanged fire, resulting in Gotay being shot in the arm. As Melendez and Spry struggled for Spry’s gun, Gotay pulled his brother-in-law off Spry, and then shot Spry several times. Gotay was charged with murder. He later pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter but later withdrew the plea at the urging of relatives. On December 4, 2009, the court denied a request by Gotay that the charges against him be dismissed on self-defense grounds. A jury eventually convicted Gotay of voluntary manslaughter and two drug charges. A judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison on March 8, 2010.
Source: “Gotay sentenced to at least 10 years in prison for manslaughter,” citizensvoice.com, March 9, 2010; “Man testifies about shootout,” timesleader.com, February 24, 2010; “Testimony in homicide trial to start,” timesleader.com, February 23, 2010; “Pa. man on trial in shooting death during robbery,” Daily American,” February 23, 2010.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Christina Korbe CONVICTED
Date: November 19, 2008
Total Killed: 1
Law Enforcement Officers Killed: 1
Circumstances: On November 19, 2008, Christina Korbe shot and killed FBI Special Agent Samuel Hicks. Federal agents, led by Agent Hicks, had entered Korbe’s home to serve an arrest warrant on her husband. The gun used by Korbe in the incident was a 38 caliber Taurus Ultra-Lite revolver. In addition to being charged with killing an FBI agent, Korbe, who had a concealed handgun permit, was charged in federal court with firearm offenses.
UPDATE: On January 18, 2011, Christina Korbe pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and committing a crime of violence with a firearm. Korbe was sentenced to 70 months for manslaughter, 120 months for the firearm offense, and was given credit for time already served.
Source: “Pennsylvania woman gets 16 years in FBI killing case,” Reuters, January 18, 2011; “Korbe Remorseful for Shooting Death of FBI Agent,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 10,2008; Indictment of Christina Marie Korbe, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, January 8, 2009; “More charges filed against accused killer of FBI agent,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 19, 2009.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Roderick Sims CONVICTED
Date: September 27, 2008
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On September 27, 2008, concealed handgun permit holder Roderick Sims, 50, shot and killed his estranged fiancee Charity Spickler, 27, after breaking into her apartment. On August 8, 2008, Spickler obtained a temporary protection order against Sims after he allegedly pushed, yelled, and spit at her during an argument. On the same day that she obtained the protective order, Spickler and their three children—ages three, five, and 18—moved out of the apartment she shared with Sims and moved into a shelter. Spickler did not ask the court to seize Sims’ .38 revolver because she felt he would be even more angry and she would be in greater danger if the authorities took his gun away. According to the District Attorney, once the protective order was issued, Sims stalked Spickler and told a friend he would kill her. On the day of the murder, Sims was fired from his job at ConAgra following an argument at work. He spent the day drinking at bars before taking a taxi to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where Spickler was staying at a female friend’s apartment. That night she had returned home from a date with Eric Hitchcock, who was giving a half-naked Spickler a back rub on her bed. Sims prowled around outside the apartment and looked in the windows. Sims then broke through a locked door of the apartment and confronted Spickler’s female friend who fled the apartment and called for help. Hitchcock, hearing the commotion, tried to prevent Sims from breaking into the bedroom. Sims, tearing the bedroom door off its hinges, broke into the room. Hitchcock fled the house and Sims shot Spickler in the back of the head as she lay crouched with her head down. Spickler died two days later. On November 2, 2012, Sims was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of second degree murder in the shooting of Spickler. Sims also received a concurrent seven to 30 year sentence for burglary and terroristic threats.
Source: “Lewisburg man found guilty in 2008 shooting,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, November 4, 2012; “Defense: Union County murder defendant ‘just lost it’ before slaying,” The Daily Item, October 24, 2012.