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3 dead in murder-suicide over snow removal dispute, prosecutors say

Jeffrey Spaide shot and killed his neighbors in Plains Township, Pennsylvania, over a snow removal dispute, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said a man in Pennsylvania shot and killed a couple in a murder-suicide over a snow removal dispute on Monday, the same day a major winter storm dumped more than 30 inches of snow in parts of the Northeast.

Jeffrey Spaide fatally shot his neighbors, James Goy and his wife, Lisa Goy, before killing himself on Monday morning when officers were called to West Bergh Street in Plains Township, about 15 miles southwest of Scranton, according to the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office.

Police work the scene of a murder-suicide following a shoveling dispute that left three dead in Plains Township, Pa., on Feb. 1, 2021.
Police work the scene of a murder-suicide following a shoveling dispute that left three dead in Plains Township, Pa., on Feb. 1, 2021.WBRE

District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said Tuesday that the office determined no other suspects were involved and deemed the incident a murder-suicide. Salavantis said the office will close the case pending a report by the Luzerne County Coroner’s Office.

Shortly before 9 a.m. on Monday, officers responded to a report of shots fired when they found the bodies of the Goys on the street, prosecutors said. Law enforcement officials said they later heard a gun fire from Spaide’s house. Authorities later determined this to be his self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to prosecutors.

Surveillance video revealed that Spaide and the Goys were involved in disputes before the deadly encounter, prosecutors said.

The video shows that the Goys shoveled snow from their parking spots, pushed it across the street and threw it onto Spaide’s property. After Spaide asked the couple to stop throwing snow onto his property, the neighbors got into an argument where they appear to have exchanged obscene gestures and expletives.

Prosecutors said James Goy threatened Spaide and cocked his fist, prompting Spaide to retreat into his home and return outside with a pistol.

While the Goys acknowledged he had a gun, prosecutors said they continued to shout names at him from the middle of the street. Spaide opened fire and shot the Goys before returning to his home to get another gun to deal the killing blow, according to prosecutors.

After killing his neighbors, Spaide went back inside his home where he shot himself as police pulled up to the scene, prosecutors said.

The Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office, the Luzerne County Coroner, Plains Township Police, Plains Township Fire and Ambulance and Pennsylvania State Police Forensic Services Unit were all involved in the investigation.

These three deaths came in addition to four others in the wake of the deadly winter storm that suspended flights, cut electricity, and closed schools and Covid-19 vaccination sites across the Northeast.

In Allentown, Pennsylvania, a 67-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease died of hypothermia after wandering away from her home, NBC Philadelphia reported. Her body was found four blocks away on Monday morning.

In Adamstown, Maryland, a 64-year-old man died after a recycling services truck he was riding on the back of overturned on an icy roadway around noon Monday, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said.

And two people — a 69-year-old woman and a 42-year-old woman — died in Pennsylvania in separate incidents on Sunday, state police said. The 42-year-old woman died in a crash during the snowstorm in Tioga County, and the other 69-year-old crashed in slick conditions during snow in Bucks County.