YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — An investigation continues to look into the physical and mental state of a York man after a Central York High School social studies teacher was killed in a weekend murder/suicide in Spring Garden Township.
In a press conference held just days after the incident, the Chief of Police for the Spring Garden Township department, George Swartz, released details regarding what led up to the deaths of both Erin Walker and Daniel Berry.
According to Swartz, the police department responded to a series of complaints leading up to the dispute involving Berry’s shed. On May 19, Berry reported that he had a shed delivered to his residence and, while placing it, a phone line became disconnected from Ms. Walker’s residence. This led to a conversation on who was responsible for fixing it.
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Walker also filed a complaint on May 19 with the zoning office stating that Berry placed the shed on the property without obtaining a permit. The next day, Walker called the police department to report that her phone line was still detached due to the shed.
The officer handling the complaints made arrangements for Verizon to respond and re-attach the wire. Just two hours later, she called again to request that someone from the zoning office comes to the home to see the placement.
According to Swartz, there was no further contact between the department and Walker or Berry until Saturday evening when police officers responded to the shooting.
When the officers arrived on the scene, they discovered Walker and Berry both with apparent gunshot wounds. The York County Coroner’s office says Berry, who allegedly shot Walker, died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound outside his home. Walker was transported to York Hospital by ambulance where she later died.
“While the shed was clearly a source of contention, I will note there may have been other issues that we are not currently aware of that may have been a factor for what occurred Saturday evening. We may never know what they may have been,” Swartz said.
Swartz said he is not going to speculate on the mental or physical state of Berry during the time of the incident, but that the investigation is ongoing.
“It’s not uncommon, I’ll say it that way, for neighbors to have disputes on line, on boundaries, of property, placement, of – you know – things like this. But what is very uncommon and senseless is how this ended,” Swartz said.
York County has now had 16 homicide deaths this year, a majority in York City. The incident was one of several recent shootings in York County, including a shooting at the Walmart Supercenter in Newberry Township on Sunday.
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