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Deadly Shooting in Pike County

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DINGMAN TOWNSHIP --State police are investigating after a fight between neighbors ended in a deadly shootout Thursday.

It happened along Route 2001 in Dingman Township near Milford around one o’clock in the afternoon.

State police say both men had guns and each fired at the other.

Howard McElnea, 78, was shot several times and injured.

The other neighbor, 68-year old Jeffrey VanSlyke was shot and killed.

"Part of what we're trying to figure out right now is what precipitated the argument,” said Trooper Mark Keyes.

Neighbors say the men had a disagreement over a fence.

Thomas Mincer is an attorney for Howard McElnea.

"There was some kind of dispute and my client was simply defending himself at the time on his own property. There has been apparently problems with the neighbor in the past,” Mincer said.

Word of the shooting spread quickly and people came to see for themselves what was happening.

"To see what's going on, I mean I live a mile away,” said Jonathan Gruehr of Dingman Township.

"Usually a very quiet neighborhood, very quiet town. Very unsettling to have something like this happen close to home,” said Bonnie Kersting of Dingman Township.

State police say the shooting is still under investigation.



  • freegirl100

    Is this what you call reporting? I get more information from Facebook posts from this crackerjack reporter. I guess he didn’t go to Columbia School of Journalism. Are there any plans to actually REPORT on this event?

  • Silverfish Imperetrix

    They were both armed and that’s how they chose to settle their argument. I’d call that a duel.

  • ACES

    Of course, people feel the need to judge, without any knowledge of the circumstances that could lead to this situation.

  • Ed

    It was his right to protect his family. One day you when you or your family get caught in a situation you will wish someone had a gun and the balls to use it.

  • Steve

    Would be nice if the Sheriffs office did a full background check again on all registered gun owners as I know a few that have carry permits, but should of failed the check….

  • JstAGuy

    Why doesn’t the article mention the “attorney” is also the township supervisor? More lousy, liberal reporting.

    • Ybohnarc

      Someone died and your referencing liberal reporting comments. This world really is going to hell. God bless all involved.

      • JstAGuy

        Of course this man did not deserve to lose his life in such a senseless manner but you obviously need that spelled out for you. The reference was made to highlight the fact that this “attorney” chose to taint the jury pool by publicly defending someone immediately after the incident without all the facts instead of expressing any grief over this happening in his own township.

    • Caribbeanbound

      some lawyers have no ethics. He probably heard the word homocide on the scanner and started salivating.

      • JstAGuy

        When faced with the choice of representing the township who pays him or his personal interests, this guy seems to choose the latter every time. Vote him out!

  • Lance

    Whatever happened to lighting a bag of dog crap and leaving at on your neighbor’s door. Shooting is way too final. That proves nothing except a dead person and a life sentence for the idiot with the gun

    • Para Bellum

      Seems as both men had a gun and one had used his gun to defend himself from the other…If true, the guy who defended himself may be totally within his rights under PA law. We here in PA have “Stand your ground” and Castle Doctrine which recognizes our natural right to defend ourselves, family, our homes and even possibly our neighbors.

      Either way as a gun owner and a person who is licensed to carry, it is sad that a minor dispute over a fence would come to such violence between neighbors and as a Pike County resident in a neighboring town I will be watching this to see how this plays out.

      • JstAGuy

        It seems there are witnesses to the altercation. Hopefully, someone can shed some light on who drew their weapon first. That is the determining factor in who had the right to defend themselves. It’s quite possible an innocent party was simply pushed over the edge…..none of us here know. As we learned with the Frein case, we will only know what they want us to know, not the truth.

    • Writer Girl

      What ever happened to human decency and respect? Trying to get along with your neighbors? Or maybe turning to legal means to solve a fence issue?

      • JstAGuy

        As they say, “The devil’s in the details.” There’s obviously history here that is not included in the story and we don’t yet know if that history includes prior reports to the authorities. Nevertheless, you are correct, working through a problem seems to be a thing of the past.

      • Brenda Jansen

        I don’t care what the details are… there is one man dead and other wounded. this is the end basically to two people’s lives and their families. is this the way it is now? we all hate each other so much over nothing and I mean nothing…

      • Better call Saul

        Brenda doesn’t care what the details are. Remember those words some day if you’re sitting in court trying to defend your actions. Good luck in jail then.

      • Atomic Punk

        McElnea threatened VanSlyke’s wife with his weapon. She was at her sons property. VanSlyke came to the property to protect his wife and sons and was subsequently shot as he exited his vehicle. He was able to return fire on the perp before dying.

      • Silverfish Imperetrix

        That’s one of the first things that need to be done when you’re buying property regardless if there’s pins already there. Get your own surveyor and get the boundaries verified before closing to prevent (hopefully) future disputes.

      • Jd power

        I took a survey once. It asked if I thought Archie Beal and Yuiki were gay lovers. I answered like the Geico commercial: Everybody knows that.

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