Kimberly A. Scott, a 58-year-old resident of Duncanville, Penn., was putting up Christmas decorations outside of the Juniata Valley Gospel Church Friday morning when she was struck by a bullet and killed.
Instead of celebrating the holidays, Scott, along with local residents William Rhodes and his father-in-law, Kenneth Lynn, will be the subject of a prayer vigil Saturday night as residents of Blair County, located about 100 miles east of Pittsburgh, wonder why one of their neighbors, Jeffrey Lee Michael, 44, of Hollidaysburg, went on the fatal shooting spree in their usually quiet community.
It all happened quickly. An hour after the first emergency call at around 9 a.m., Michael was dead. It took the rest of the day for officers to discover the bodies and set up five crime scenes within a small, sparsely populated radius.
The perpetrator was reportedly driving the wrong direction down a rural road in a pickup truck when officers, responding to the emergency calls, began pursuing the suspect. Michael then rammed a third police cruiser and then shot an officer in the chest, who was likely saved by his bulletproof vest, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Two other officers were injured as Michael fired back at them, but they managed to take down the attacker.
"We have seized some weapons. ... It's safe to say there was more than one weapon," police Deputy Commissioner Lt. Col. George Bivens said at a press conference hours after the rampage, according to the local Aloota Mirror.
District Attorney Rich Consiglio told a news conference on Friday that the investigation into this crime was the largest he’d seen in his role as public defender. Yet, the motives are still unclear.
What is known is, according to a neighbor, Michael was a truck driver known to annoy neighbors by occasionally firing his guns and fireworks into the air late at night. And that the two related male victims lived nearby, according to local news reports.
Police have so far declined to list the weapons seized.
The shooting spree comes in the wake of the tragic Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., and on the same day the National Rifle Association blamed video games and the media’s general culture of violence for gun-related violence.
Friday’s shooting spree wasn’t the first gun-related incident since Sandy Hook. According to the Huffington Post, there were more than 100 shooting deaths since the Connecticut school shootings .
Here’s a few of the higher profile shooting deaths that have occurred nationwide since Dec. 14.
On the day of the Sandy Hook shooting, four-year-old Aydan Perea of Kansas City, Mo., was shot in the head by a stray bullet from a drive-by shooting. The boy was declared brain dead a week later and taken off life support.
On Dec. 15, a man in Alabama opened fire at a Birmingham hospital, injuring an officer and two employees before being taken down by responding police.
On that same day, a 3-year-old in Guthrie, Oklahoma, shot himself with a gun belonging to his uncle, a State Trooper.
On Thursday a 14-year-old in Gwinnett County, Georgia, was bound to a chair and fatally shot.
Also on Thursday in Houston: a road rage incident involving an armed 20-year-old male left a mother of two dead.
And on Friday, a 48-year-old woman in Oakland, Calif., was killed by a stray bullet following a inner-city gun battle between rival street thugs.
Also on Friday, A police captain says two people have been shot to death inside a nightclub in a suburb of Birmingham, Ala., the Associated Press reported.