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Police: Man shot girlfriend in Stowe before attempting suicide with gas

| Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 4:04 p.m.
An Allegheny County Police Officer approaches a woman reacting to news that one personwas killed at a home on Broadway Avenue in Stowe Township, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review

A woman found shot to death in her Stowe home on Wednesday afternoon may have been killed by her boyfriend, who then turned on the gas to try to take his own life, police said.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office identified the woman as Elizabeth Cannon, 21.

Authorities initially responded to the home in the 1500 block of Broadway Avenue shortly after 2:30 p.m. for a report of a natural gas leak with a man inside who was unresponsive, according to Lt. Andrew Schurman of the Allegheny County homicide unit.

When police arrived, they discovered a man who was overcome by natural gas fumes and Cannon on the second floor who was dead from an apparent gunshot wound, he said.

“Another person who lives here came home and found the house in the condition that was reported,” Schurman said. “We do know that the girl was shot to death, and there's not evidence that it was a suicide, so we can safely say that's a murder.”

The man, identified by a relative as Andrew Sheets, 25, was overcome by gas fumes and was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital in stable condition. Cody Sheets said Thursday his brother's condition hasn't changed. He said Andrew Sheets owned a registered handgun and Cannon was his girlfriend. He “was not an aggressive type person,” Cody Sheets said. He declined further comment.

Several neighbors said the couple lived in the home for about five years and were “quiet.”

“They were always very, very nice,” said the Rev. Gary Gideon, 40, whose mother lived next door until her death in April. “If my mother needed snow shoveled from her sidewalk or carport, the young man who lived there was always glad to help out. Every time I spoke with the man, he was very cordial.”

Gideon said his mother never mentioned hearing arguments at the house or having any problems with her neighbors.

“The walls of both homes are paper-thin, so if there was a lot of noise or arguing going on, she would definitely hear it, and she would definitely have mentioned something to me,” Gideon said.

Bob Palfy, 58, who lives across the street from where the shooting occurred, said the couple would “say hello, but they kept to themselves.”

“This is kind of a shock. It's not something I ever expected would happen.”

Staff writer Margaret Harding contributed to this report. Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7987 or tlarussa@tribweb.com.

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