Police Look into How Gun Used in Mount Gretna Shooting was Obtained

Posted by jhingarat21 on 11th Sep 2015

Cornwall Borough Police Chief Bruce Harris speaks to the media gathered outside the Gretna Emporium Monday Afternoon. 

Police are trying to find where a man got the gun he is accused of using to fatally shoot his ex-girlfriend outside her Mount Gretna shop Monday before shooting and seriously injuring himself.

Patrick L. Derr, 47, has not been charged in the death of Stacey Pennington, 46, of South Lebanon Township as of late Tuesday afternoon.

He is in critical condition at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Cornwall Borough Police Chief Bruce Harris said Tuesday.

Harris declined to say if Derr, of Richland Township, is expected to survive.

At the time of the shooting, Derr was under a protection from abuse order and would not have been permitted to have a firearm, according to Harris.

Harris said he didn’t think Derr owned a gun in the past, based on news reports he read about Pennington’s protection order.

Police are also investigating the car Derr arrived in, Harris said. The white, 2011 Ford Fusion had been reported stolen recently from Richland.

Derr is accused of shooting Pennington outside her gift shop, Gretna Emporium, about 11:30 a.m. She ran from the shop toward The Jigger Shop next door.

Chuck Allwein, who owns the ice cream parlor, said he was about five to 10 feet from the pair when Derr shot Pennington from about five feet away.

When she fell, Derr stood over her and fired again, he said. Pennington was shot once in the torso and once in the head.

Allwein and others ran for cover. A few minutes later, Derr shot himself in the head, according to police.

The shooting shook the small community known for its late 19th-century charm including cottages, art show, lake, theater and a thriving religious community.

But Monday’s shooting wasn’t Mount Gretna’s first homicide, Harris said. In 1983 or 1984, he said, a man fatally shot his wife, but he had no more details.

While violence can happen anywhere, Lancaster County residents who own cottages at Gretna viewed the shooting as an aberration.

Susan Hoyt, of Manheim, owns three cottages in Mount Gretna that she and her husband rent out.

They went up Monday after the shooting to check on their renters.

“This is an isolated incident, a fight between two people. … We love Mount Gretna. Things happen. It’s a tragedy,” but she feels safe there, she said.

Kristen Dale Stemmer, of Mountville, was at her parents’ seasonal cottage on Friday and Saturday.

She took her daughters to Pennington’s shop on Saturday, to browse for end-of-season sales and for ice cream before leaving returning home.

Stemmer didn’t know Pennington personally, just from her shop.

“It was pretty shocking when we heard it because we had just been at both locations,” she said.

She learned of the shootings from friends texting her, she said.

“It’s bad no matter where (violence) happens, but when it happens in a quaint, small little town like Gretna that’s family friendly and not used to things like this, it’s really sad,” she said.

Original Article Here

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