Derry woman shot 4 times in critical condition; man in custody
An Indiana County man who was angry about a break-up with his ex-girlfriend barged into her Derry home on Sunday night and shot her four times, state police said.
Arthur Leroy Whitfield, 51, of Josephine was arraigned on multiple criminal charges, including attempted homicide, for the shooting of Holly G. Embry, 35, at her home along the 700 block of West First Avenue.
Trooper Stephen Limani said Embry was in “very critical” condition on Monday at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, where she was flown by medical helicopter after the 9:30 p.m. shooting.
“Mr. Whitfield was reportedly angered over a change in their relationship, entered the residence and shot his ex-girlfriend,” Limani said.
Limani said Whitfield shot the woman as she was in bed watching television with her 15-year-old daughter. The teen was not harmed.
“It was a very brutal ... quick attack. I can't imagine the emotions and trauma those children in the home experienced witnessing that,” Limani said.
Whitfield entered the home through an unlocked door and went upstairs to the bedroom, according to a copy of the criminal complaint.
The daughter noticed the door knob turning, but the door was locked, so she got up and unlocked it, Trooper Robert Burford wrote in the affidavit.
Whitfield allegedly pulled a .380-caliber handgun from his waistband when he entered the bedroom and told Embry, “This is the last time you're gonna (expletive) me,” before firing the shots and running.
Embry's two other children, age 9 and 13, were in a nearby bedroom with Embry and Whitfield's 21-year-old daughter, Limani said.
The couple's adult daughter witnessed the shooting when she looked out of her bedroom to check on the commotion, police said. The other children were not injured.
Whitfield was arrested a few miles outside Derry just after 2:30 a.m. when passers-by saw him hitchhiking north along Route 217. Limani said Whitfield was taken into custody without incident.
Police have not recovered the gun used in the shooting, Limani said.
In addition to attempted homicide, Whitfield is charged with illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, aggravated assault, criminal trespass, discharging a firearm in an occupied structure, possessing a firearm without a license, reckless endangerment and simple assault.
Court records in Indiana and Westmoreland counties show that during much of the 1990s, Whitfield was incarcerated for convictions of indecent aggravated assault and driving under the influence in Indiana County in 1990. He pleaded guilty to raping a 15-year-old Derry Township girl at knifepoint in 1993 and served five years of a five- to 10-year sentence.
In 2006, Whitfield pleaded guilty to workers compensation insurance fraud in Indiana County and was sentenced to two to four years in prison.
Whitfield is in the Westmoreland County Prison, where he was ordered held on $250,000 bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 11 before Derry Township District Judge Mark Bilik.
Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or email@example.com.
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.
- Rossi: Looking at the next great Steeler
- Steelers swap draft pick for Eagles cornerback
- After early criticism, Haley has Steelers offense poised to be even better
- McCullers’, McLendon’s prowess in clogging trenches crucial to Steelers defense
- Reds solve Cole, stave off Pirates’ 9th-inning rally
- Penguins not alone in top-heavy approach to salary cap
- Pirates notebook: New acquisition Happ more than happy to fill spot in rotation
- Steelers notebook: Injuries finally become issue at training camp
- Starting 9: Examining Pirates’ deadline decisions
- Shell shovels millions into proposed Beaver County plant site
- Roman Catholic Church in midst of culture clash over gays