TribLIVE

| News

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Police say father the shooter in double murder-suicide in North Huntingdon

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Related Stories

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Saturday, April 20, 2013, 11:33 a.m.
 

Investigators have determined a 68-year-old North Huntingdon man fired the shots that killed his wife and son in the family home before turning the gun on himself sometime Tuesday morning, two days before the tragedy was discovered, North Huntingdon police said Saturday morning.

Franklin D. Hutchison fired the fatal shots into the heads of his wife, Hazel, 67, and their son, William R. Hutchison, 47, in their home at 2081 Guffey Road, said North Huntingdon Detective Sgt. Jeffrey Bouldin. The gun used in the shootings was found near Franklin Hutchison's body, Bouldin said.

All three family members died of a single gunshot to the head, Bouldin said. Hazel Hutchison was found upstairs in her bed, their son was found in a hallway and Franklin Hutchison was discovered downstairs, Bouldin said.

The Westmoreland County Coroner's office pronounced all three dead at about 10:43 p.m. Thursday, though they appeared to be dead since Tuesday, the office said.

Results of the toxicology tests will not be available for several weeks, Deputy Coroner Joshua Zappone said.

Police are working to learn who owned the gun and the type of gun used in the shootings, Bouldin said. That weapon was taken by the Westmoreland County Detectives, who assisted in the investigation, Bouldin said.

Although the bodies were not found until Thursday, Bouldin said police believe the shootings occurred Tuesday morning because neighbors told investigators the elder Hutchison always took his garbage out shortly before it was collected on Tuesday mornings, and the cans remained along the street.

As for a motive in the murder-suicide, Bouldin described it as “a family situation.” He did not offer an additional explanation.

Police went to the Hutchison home Thursday night after being notified by Sendell Motors on Route 30 in Hempfield, that William Hutchison had not been to work for a few days, Bouldin said.

The sales manager at Sendell had notified police on Thursday about Hutchison's absence from his job in the dealership's reconditioning department, said Bill Mohler, owner of Sendell Motors. Mohler said Hutchison had not returned any of the manager's voice mails or text messages.

“He was a super nice guy. He was a hard worker and a quiet man,” Mohler said of Hutchison, who had worked at the dealership for the past three years.

Bouldin said the family's other son, Bruce of White Oak had not attempted to contact his parents between Tuesday and Thursday evening.

Private funeral arrangements are being handed by James W. Shirley Funeral Home, North Huntingdon.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. United Airlines hack coincided with incursion into government employee data
  2. Pirates acquire pitcher Blanton from Royals for cash
  3. Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
  4. Inside the Steelers: Williams’ quickness out of backfield evident in drills
  5. Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions
  6. Steelers notebook: LB Dupree sits out backs-on–backers drill
  7. McCutchen, Pirates cruise to interleague victory over Twins
  8. Pirates notebook: Melancon bails out Watson with extended outing
  9. Area coaches prefer staying put for camp
  10. Steelers’ Bell unsure why NFL reduced his suspension
  11. Gameday: Pirates at Reds, July 30, 2015