Police say father the shooter in double murder-suicide in North Huntingdon
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Woman shot at Kennywood Park
- McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
- Philly’s new vibrancy lures crowds
- Don’t remove history’s lessons
- Pirates minor league report: Ramirez more mindful while at plate
- Starting 9: Pirates missing out on young bat
- Locke pitches 8 scoreless innings as Pirates edge Indians
- Grandmother of boy dropped at Uniontown Hospital says he’s in ICU
- Pine-Richland graduate helps spark U.S. to Women’s World Cup final
- Starkey: Bring back the Brawl!
- State-owned universities spend millions in race to snare students