DA: Man kills woman, shoots himself outside Pa. ice cream shop

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Monday, September 7, 2015

MOUNT GRETNA, Pa. -- A man shot and killed a former girlfriend and then turned the weapon on himself outside a central Pennsylvania ice cream shop minutes before store owners were to open for the last day of the season, police said.

Patrick L. Derr, 47, of Richland, shot Stacey L. Pennington, 46, of South Lebanon Township, just before 11:30 a.m. Monday outside The Jigger Shop in Mount Gretna, said Cornwall police chief Bruce Harris.

Derr then shot himself and was flown to Hershey Medical Center, where he was reported in critical condition on life support, said Harris, whose borough provides services to nearby Mount Gretna.

Pennington owned the Mount Gretna Emporium and Gift Shop next to the ice cream parlor and had an active protection from abuse order against Derr, Harris said.

Chuck Allwein, owner of The Jigger Shop, told LNP newspapers that he and about 10 employees were getting ready to open the ice cream shop for the day when he saw the man shoot the woman twice.

"It was like 5 or 10 feet from me," said Allwein, who said he had been cleaning the open deck of the shop. He said he yelled for his employees to drop to the floor, and then they ran out the back door across the street to a playground, where they called 911.

A few minutes later, he said, he saw the shooter slumped on a bench outside his shop. About 10 to 15 minutes after the shooting, he heard a third shot as the man apparently shot himself.

Allwein, who called the shooting "traumatic," said the ice cream shop had been minutes away from opening for the final day of the season.

"People were streaming toward us," he said. "There were any number of people who heard the shots."

The shop had been scheduled to close after Monday, but announced on its website that it would not open for the final day of the season "due to unforeseen circumstances."

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