Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski and Oliver Darcy
ASHVILLE, Pa. (AP) — A husband and wife broke into a Pennsylvania home and killed the wife’s mother and brother before the intruders were shot to death by the wife’s father, the culmination of a long-running feud fueled by what a relative said Saturday was the woman intruder’s “hatred” for her family.
State police said the home invasion happened Friday night in Ashville, a rural community about 40 miles southwest of State College in central Pennsylvania.
Investigators said the father found his wife and son fatally shot, then in turn shot the two intruders. The father, identified by a relative as John Frew, was not injured.
The relative, Virginia Cruse, said the victims included her 64-year-old sister Roberta Frew and the couple’s 47-year-old son. She identified the slain assailants as Frew’s daughter, Josephine, and her husband, Jeff Ruckinger.
State police declined to release the identities of those involved before a news conference scheduled for Sunday.
Frew told police he found his wife dead at the front door and his son’s lifeless body in the kitchen. Frew said he shot and killed both his daughter, who died at the Altoona hospital of a gunshot wound to her head, and her husband.
Cruse said the daughter and mother did not get along, but that she had no idea what spawned Friday’s tragedy.
The daughter had “a hatred toward the family,” she said.
When Josephine was about 20, she and a boyfriend trashed her parents’ home and stole items including a pistol, then fled to Pittsburgh, Cruse said. After that, she said, “more or less, they disowned her.”
Ruckinger worked for a tire repair company, and his wife Josephine had disabilities that prevented her from working, Cruse said.
Authorities said autopsies were performed on the victims Saturday.
Watch the district attorney’s comments, courtesy of WeAreCentralPA.com:
This is a developing story. Updates will be added.
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