A fight that erupted over snow shoveling allegedly led to a Pennsylvania man shooting two of his neighbors to death, authorities said.
The fatal gun violence occurred in Plains Township, about 15 miles southwest of Scranton after 2 feet of snow blanketed the area, officials said.
Just before 9 a.m. on Monday, Plains Township police officers responded to a report of shots fired in a residential neighborhood and discovered 50-year-old James Goy and his 48-year-old wife, Lisa Goy, lying dead in the street in front of their home, according to a joint statement by Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis and Plains Township Police Chief Dale Binker.
Residents in the area directed police officers to a house across the street from the Goys’ home, but as they approached the front door, a gunshot rang out, the officials said. Inside the house, police found 47-year-old James Spaide deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said.
Neighbors told investigators that Spaide and the Goys had been engaged in a long-running feud that reached a boiling point on the snowiest day of the year.
“The Goys were shoveling the snow from their parking spots, shoveling the snow across the road, and throwing the snow onto Spaide’s property,” Salavantis and Binker said in their statement.
Witnesses told investigators that Spaide asked the couple to stop, sparking a heated exchange of words. James Goy apparently threw a tool at Spaide that he had been using to clear snow from his car, according to the statement. When James Goy approached Spaide with a raised fist, Spaide reportedly retreated into his house and fetched a gun, the officials said.
“The Goys proceed to yell at him, and, using expletives, the parties called each other names,” Salavantis and Binker said in their statement, adding that the episode was captured on surveillance video. “Mr. Goy then threatened Spaide and is seen making obscene gestures at him. Seconds later, Spaide returns holding a handgun.
The officials said despite seeing Spaide with a gun, James and Lisa Goy continued shouting names at him from the middle of the street.
Spaide allegedly opened fire on the couple, shooting both of them multiple times. Officials said Spaide then went back into his house and retrieved another firearm, which he reportedly used to shoot them again.