BUTLER COUNTY (KDKA) – One person is dead after a home invasion in Butler County on Friday night.
Investigators say a 74-year-old man died after he was shot several times by someone who broke into his home.
State police say a friend found 74-year-old James Martin dead in his house on Tenth Street in East Butler Township on Saturday morning after he failed to show up for breakfast. Police believe he was shot by an intruder.
“Right now, we’re classifying it as a suspicious death,” said Lt. Eric Hermick with the Pennsylvania State Police. “There’s a lot of suspicious circumstances involved.”
Authorities say Martin was a retired sheriff’s deputy from Ohio.
Last month, someone burglarized his home and stole a number of weapons.
“We actually did that investigation and filed charges relevant to that investigation,” Hermick said. “He was burglarized, and there is some evidence from that that we’re looking at as well.”
“A neighbor told me that they robbed him, stole his guns,” neighbor Neil Reddig said. “I’m thinking, I don’t know, hopefully not the intruder came back and used it on him. I don’t know.”
Police say the house was ransacked when they found Martin on Saturday, and there were no signs of forcible entry.
Neighbors say they heard four to six shots around 10:30 p.m. Friday. They’re hoping to get more evidence from video surveillance cameras around the home.
“Very scary,” Reddig said. “They said, hell, I could have been robbed or something, shot or whatever. Now, I’ll probably protect myself. I have a gun, but I think I might start carrying it.”
Reddig can’t understand why anyone would harm his neighbor.
“Nice guy. Kept to himself,” he said. “Do anything for anybody.”