State police investigating Lawrence County murder-suicide
A Lawrence County man shot his stepfather to death and then pointed his gun at his mother before shooting and killing himself late Friday, state police said.
Authorities determined the deaths of Justin E. Burnett, 29, and Douglas C. Weingartner, 60, both of Wayne, were the result of a murder-suicide, police Lt. Eric Hermick said on Saturday.
Burnett and his stepfather hadn't had a good relationship since the late 1990s, Burnett's mother, Jo Ann Wein-gartner, told police, Hermick said.
Jo Ann Weingartner picked her son up in Ellwood City about 10 p.m. Friday, Hermick said. Burnett was believed to have been at a bar. His car was equipped with an interlock device, which prevents someone from driving when intoxicated. Court records show that Burnett had two drunken-driving convictions from 2012.
When the two arrived home, Hermick said, Douglas Weingartner briefly argued with Burnett about his drinking before going upstairs to his bedroom.
Burnett took his .40-caliber handgun and walked into Weingartner's bedroom and shot him four times, Hermick said.
“He just basically assassinated him,” Hermick said. “(Weingartner) didn't try to move or defend himself.”
Jo Ann Weingartner, who was downstairs, thought that her son was banging on the bedroom door, not realizing she was hearing gunshots, Hermick said, until he returned downstairs holding the gun.
After telling her, “I just killed Doug,” Hermick said, Burnett pointed the gun at his mother.
Burnett then shot himself, Hermick said. Jo Ann Weingartner was not injured but was “visibly traumatized” when police arrived, police said. The Lawrence County Coroner's Office pronounced the two men dead at the scene.
Hermick said police hadn't previously responded to emergency calls at the Weingartner home.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 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.