Police ID 2 killed in murder-suicide at Chester County YMCA

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014
VIDEO: 2 ID'd in YMCA murder-suicide
We are learning more about their relationship to one another.

COATESVILLE, Pa. (WPVI) -- Police have identified the victim and alleged shooter involved in an apparent murder-suicide at a YMCA in Chester County.

The victim has been identified as 41-year-old Jacinda Miller, a fitness instructor at the Brandywine YMCA. The shooter is identified as 42-year-old Dennis Cassel, who is described as Miller's estranged boyfriend.

People who knew Jacinda Miller describe her as a fun-loving single mother of two who was quick with a smile, and always willing to help people in need.

It was shortly after 6:00 p.m. Monday when gunfire was reported at the YMCA on the 200 block of Hurley Road in West Brandywine and the building was placed on lockdown.

Authorities say Cassel showed up at the Brandywine YMCA where Miller worked and waited for her to arrive. When she did he reportedly jumped out of his vehicle, shot her once with a semi automatic handgun, and then kneeled next her body.

When police arrived Cassel turned the gun on himself.

Both were transported to Brandywine Hospital where they were pronounced dead from gunshot wounds.

Chester County District Attorney Hogan stated, "This crime is another tragedy of domestic violence. Two children have been left without a mother. There is no excuse and no good explanation for this sort of violence. Our prayers are with the families." Hogan added, "We thank the YMCA staff and our first responders for making sure that the scene was secured immediately and none of the children at the YMCA were harmed."

The Brandywine YMCA was closed Tuesday, except for daycare, in Miller's honor. Officials there are remembering her as a wonderful employee... but an even better friend.

Denise Day, CEO of Brandywine YMCA, tells us, "The staff is devastated. Our thoughts go out to her family, especially her two young boys. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them."

Miller's children are now in the care of their father.