December 21, 2012

Woman at church, 2 others killed by Pa. gunman

The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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Local law enforcement block off road along Rt. 22 near the Canoe Creek State Park, Pa. while investigating a shooting on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. The suspect fired at troopers responding to Friday morning's shootings in Frankstown Township, about 70 miles west of Harrisburg. The fleeing gunman then crashed head-on into a trooper's car and got out of his truck and shot again at police, who returned fire and killed him. Blair County District Rich Consiglio says the gunman killed two men and one woman. (AP Photo/Altoona Mirror, J.D. Cavrich)

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An ambulance from the Hollidaysburg American Legion Ambulance Servie leaves a shooting scene along Rt. 22 near the entrance to Canoe Creek State Park.

Altoona Mirror Photo by J.D. Cavrich

"I think we have three very fortunate state police members tonight," Bivens said. "We are very thankful for the fact that they survived this attack. Someone was watching over them."

McCaulley, who is the pastor of another church about 50 miles away from the site of Friday's carnage, said his older brother began leading the Frankstown church in 1954.

"He preached his last sermon at the church in October before he fell ill," McCaulley said.

The church, which lists about 150 members in an online want ad posted this month for an associate pastor, is close-knit, and the woman killed Friday was among its more active members, McCaulley said. She had made food for him to take home Thursday since his wife had died this year, he said.

"The only thing I can say good at this time is that (the gunman) didn't do this 24 hours earlier when there was a big crowd in the church hall," McCaulley said. "We're devastated."

Friday's shootings were the second involving a rural Pennsylvania church this month.

An elementary school teacher is jailed on charges he fatally shot his ex-wife, a church organist, during a service in Coudersport on Dec. 2. The pastor and church members subdued him until police arrived.

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