Police: Wellsville man, 21, shot, killed father in ‘fit of rage’


WELLSVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) – A 21-year-old man told investigators he was “in a fit of rage” when he shot and killed his father at their Wellsville home, according to charging documents.

Wyatt N. Dettinger is charged with criminal homicide and other charges regarding the killing of 48-year-old Duane Dettinger at 15 Carroll Street late Monday.

A woman in the home told police she heard loud noises on the second floor and then heard Duane Dettinger yell at his son. She said there were two gunshots, and she ran to the basement when she saw Duane Dettinger lying at the top of the stairs.

Wyatt Dettinger

She ran to a neighbor who called 911 after Wyatt Dettinger drove off with a 17-year-old girl in a red Mazda sedan. Duane Dettinger was dead in the second-floor hallway when troopers arrived at the home just after 11 p.m.

Troopers stopped the Mazda near Northern High School and arrested Wyatt Dettinger after a foot chase into a wooded area. He still had the rifle in his possession, police said.

The 17-year-old told police she was with Wyatt Dettinger in his bedroom when he began hitting a television with his hands and a rifle. She said Dettinger’s father came into the room and yelled at Dettinger to stop, according to the criminal complaint filed by state police.

Wyatt Dettinger told police that when his father left the room, he fired the .243-caliber rifle into a wall, striking Duane Dettinger. He said he then walked into the hallway and shot his father again as he was lying on the floor, according to the complaint.

“He had a temper,” neighbor Tierra Leber said. “He was hotheaded, but I didn’t know he would or was capable of doing something like this, especially to his father, so it’s very shocking and it feels almost unreal that this even happened.”

Wyatt Dettinger is in York County Prison without bail. Additional charges include flight to avoid apprehension, reckless endangerment, and tampering with evidence.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 6.

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