GREENE TOWNSHIP, Pa. – A father in Northwestern Pennsylvania shot and killed his two children before turning the gun on himself Tuesday in what the county coroner is calling a double murder-suicide.
Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook tells Erie News Now that 48-year-old Richard Zimmer, as identified by PA State Police, shot his two sleeping children with a shotgun inside his Greene Township home.
PA State Police say Zimmer did not show up to a custody hearing earlier in the day. That’s when family members went to check on him just after 2 p.m., finding heavy smoke coming from the home in the 9600 block of Sampson Road.
Police said sometime during the day Tuesday, Zimmer started multiple fires throughout the home then turned the gun on himself. The fires were set after the kids were killed; the coroner told Erie News Now.
State Police identified the children as a 13-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy.