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Coroner: Son shot father, mother before killing himself in New Freedom

Ron Musselman
York Dispatch
40 S. Constitution Ave. Friday, April 17, 2020, where the York County Coroner says a double murder-suicide occurred the day before. Bill Kalina photo

A 28-year-old man shot and killed his parents before taking his own life in a double murder-suicide Thursday night in New Freedom, according to the York County Coroner’s Office.

David Jonathan Schlenoff shot his parents, Elizabeth Schlenoff, 66, and David Schlenoff, 71, in the head and then turned the gun on himself inside the house where they lived, Coroner Pam Gay said in a news release Friday.

Schlenoff's death was listed as a suicide, with a shot to the head. His parents' deaths were listed as homicides, Gay said.

There will be no autopsies.

Chris Boyer, chief of the Rose Fire Co., grew up in that area of southern York County and was the first on scene for his department in what was initially reported to be a structure fire.

He quickly learned the nature of the incident and was still trying to come to grips with it Friday morning.

“It hit close to home and affected a lot of the community,” Boyer said.

40 S. Constitution Ave. Friday, April 17, 2020, where the York County Coroner says a double murder-suicide occurred the day before. Bill Kalina photo

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Firefighters responded to a report of a possible structure fire just after 5 p.m. Thursday at a house in the first block of South Constitution Avenue.

“There was no fire,” Boyer said. “It was just a pot of food burning on the stove.”

Boyer said he was met by officers shortly after entering the house.

“I was met by a police officer, who told me to step back, that it was a police incident,” Boyer said. “The Southern Regional Police Department discovered the bodies.

“None of my men entered the building except for myself, and that was just to check the structure and check for any fire extension, which there was not. 

“At that point, we ventilated the structure, got all of the smoke out of the building and turned it over to police to finish their investigation,” Boyer said.

Southern Regional Police Chief James Boddington, whose department is handling the investigation, could not be  reached Friday.

— Ron Musselman can be reached at rmusselman@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @ronmusselman8.