Police: Springetts man murdered at New Oxford workplace

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Plainville Farms in Oxford Township, Adams County

A York-area man was murdered at his Adams County workplace by a disgruntled former worker who then turned the gun on himself, according to police.

John M. Frey, 58, of Springettsbury Township, was fatally shot about 5:20 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21, at the Plainville Farms Distribution Center, according to Eastern Adams Regional Police.

Police said he served as transportation supervisor for the center, which is located in the 4800 block of York Road in Oxford Township, outside New Oxford.

Frey arrived for work about 5:20 a.m., parked in the employee lot next to the loading docks and got out of his vehicle, according to police.

A Dodge Caravan pulled up beside him, and fired Plainville Farms truck driver Phillip Michael Hughes got out and confronted his former supervisor, police said.

Hughes, 75, of Marshville, North Carolina, fired two shots at Frey at point-blank range, police said.

Fatally shot: One bullet struck Frey in the head, killing him.

Hughes then put the barrel of his .38-caliber Smith & Wesson five-shot Chief's Special under his chin and pulled the trigger, killing himself, police said.

The gun still had two live rounds, and Hughes still had five bullets in his pocket, according to police.

Arriving officers found both men dead in the parking lot, police said.

A Plainville Farms employee told investigators he saw the Dodge Caravan driving around the property in a suspicious manner and that the van had been parked in an adjacent lot for some time, police said.

The witness called 911 after hearing three gunshots and taking cover.

Hughes worked as an independent trucking contractor for Plainville Farms but had been fired on Tuesday, Aug. 20, according to police.

Adams County Coroner Pat Felix pronounced Frey and Hughes dead at the scene and ruled it a case of murder-suicide.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.