Shooting Investigation Near Benton

A woman is dead and a man is in the hospital after a shooting Tuesday morning in Columbia County.

State police are investigating the crime which relatives describe as a murder and attempted suicide.

Some people in the Benton area are in shock.

More than a dozen state troopers were at a property on Coles Creek Mill Road in Sugarloaf Township near Benton. They took  photographs and seemed to be interested in an area between the main house and a large camper.

Throughout the day relatives and friends arrived and you could see and almost feel the emotion. When first responders got there they knew they had a shooting on their hands.

Don Musselman raced to the scene, he said, mistakenly thinking his daughter was involved.  “It wasn’t my daughter it was her brother-in-law and his girlfriend . It’s still a tragedy because the lady involved has three young children,” Musselman said.

Although state police would only say they are investigating a shooting, family members believe it was a domestic dispute involving the man and his girlfriend. Family members believe the man shot the woman and then turned the gun on himself.  He survived, but the coroner said, his girlfriend died.

It has some people ,including Charles Broadwader, asking  what went wrong.”It makes you wonder what was going on in their lives to do that with somebody they live with or love,” Broadwater said.

Michelle Yustatst works at a restaurant in  Benton. She said word of the shooting is getting around. “You live in a small town and people don’t shoot people every day. We’re not a big city, so it’s very surprising,” Yustatst said.

Walter Koepisch said he heard  of the crime while having breakfast at a restaurant. “All kinds of crazy stuff anymore, so it’s not surprising,” he said.

One thing is clear, the shooting near Benton shocked some people and has shaken the lives of two families.

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