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Man Shoots, Kills Wife While She Played the Organ During Church

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A man entered a worship service in Pennsylvania and shot his ex-wife, then returned to shoot her again a few minutes later.

The New York Daily News reported that a man entered a worship service at First United Presbyterian Church in Coudersport, Pennsylvania and shot his ex-wife while she played the organ, then returned a second time to shoot her again. Witnesses said the man, Gregory Eldred, a 52-year-old elementary school teacher, entered the church wearing a hooded beige jacket and aimed his gun carefully at the choir director, his ex-wife Darlene Sitler, 53, seated at the organ about 20 minutes after the service began. Eldred quickly left the building after the shooting, but then returned minutes later “to see if she was dead,” he said, firing two more shots at her.  

Police said no one else was hurt in the shooting and were able to subdue Eldred quickly outside the church. The handgun was recovered inside the church as well as four spent shells.

Sitler was the music teacher at the Northern Pottter Children’s School for 30 years in the same local district where her ex-husband taught. The county coroner called the event a “terrible, unprecedented tragedy” and had “never encountered anything quite like it.”

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