Police chief: Man kills girlfriend in Yorkville, flees, kills self in church

| October 23, 2009

Two people are dead after a murder/suicide in Pottsville Friday afternoon.

According to Pottsville police, Frank Manganiello, 51, of Schuylkill Haven shot and killed his girlfriend Sandra Pucci, 49, Pottsville, in the Social Security office parking lot on West Market Street about noon Friday.

Pottsville Police Chief Joseph H. Murton said the shooter fled in his own vehicle to First United Methodist Church at Fourth and West Market streets, where he took his own life at the altar.

Pucci, who was taken to a hospital, also died.

According to police, Pucci worked at the Way Mart Food Store in the Yorkville section of Pottsville. After an altercation there, the couple went into the parking lot of the Social Security office where a single shot was fired.

State and local police blocked off vehicle and pedestrian traffic from the block where the church stands and were posted outside, with weapons poised, for more than a half an hour.

At least 30 people were inside the church when the gunman arrived, according to Rev. Storm Hutchinson. He said a women's group was meeting at the time, and another small group was also inside the building. They were seen exiting the building with their hands raised.

Hutchinson said he was in his office about 60 feet away from the altar.

"I heard the gunshot," Hutchinson told The Republican-Herald.

All those in the church escaped safely, he said. Hutchinson also said to his knowledge, the gunman had no direct connection to First United Methodist Church.

"Someone asked me if this man went to our church. My response was, 'I wish he had,'" Hutchinson said. "I wish we could have reached him."

Hutchinson said a special prayer and healing service will be held at the church at 7 p.m. Saturday.

He extended his condolences to all those involved.

Maganiello was the owner of Fresco's Italian Pizzeria at Sharp Mountain Plaza.



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Category: Church Security

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