DA: Boy, man shot dead in eastern Pa. home, 3 hurt

AP News
Posted: Jul 03, 2011 11:31 PM
DA: Boy, man shot dead in eastern Pa. home, 3 hurt

A shooting at a rural home in suburban Philadelphia killed a 2-year-old boy and a man from Massachusetts and critically injured three other people, authorities said Sunday.

Police were called late Saturday to the residence in Douglass Township in Montgomery County, about 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

First Assistant District Attorney Kevin R. Steele identified the dead as 43-year-old Joseph Shay, of Yarmouth, Mass., and New York City, and 2-year-old Gregory Erdmann, of Fall River, Mass. Both were shot in the head.

The boy's mother, 37-year-old Kathryn Erdmann, also was shot in the head and was hospitalized in critical condition.

Also critically injured were the homeowners, 64-year-old Paul Shay and 58-year-old Monica Shay, of New York City.

The couple live in the East Village of Manhattan, where Paul Shay owns a plumbing company, and his wife is the director of the arts and cultural management program at Pratt Institute.

A neighbor, Dan Hoyt, 48, told The New York Daily News that Joseph Shay, their nephew, moved in about a year ago and did construction work for his uncle. "He was trying to help Joseph out," Hoyt said of the uncle.

He said the nephew recently had an argument with a man outside the apartment building.

No suspect was in custody, and police didn't have a description of the shooter, Steele said. The survivors were unable to speak to investigators, he said.

The Montgomery County district attorney and Douglass Township police chief have launched a murder investigation.

Authorities combed the area by helicopter and with the help of police dogs and the SWAT team. Township police said the officials had also been searching for more evidence and any additional victims, but none was found.

Steele earlier urged residents to assist in the search.

"If anyone in the area sees anything unusual, sees any people or person that is unfamiliar to them in the area, we're asking for them to call the police department right away," Steele said.