UPPER ST. CLAIR (KDKA) — Police are investigating after two bodies were found in a home late Monday morning in Upper St. Clair.
The Upper St. Clair police chief is calling the investigation “a domestic-related homicide.” The bodies were found inside a home on Thousand Oaks Drive.READ MORE: 100-Foot Slides At Mammoth Park To Reopen This Week
The Allegheny County Medical Examiner identified the man as 67-year-old John Happel and woman as 54-year-old Niki Happel.
A heavy law enforcement presence converged on the neighborhood earlier in the day, including SWAT teams from the South Hills and Allegheny County Police.
Rich Benonis was ready to call into a meeting Monday morning when he noticed police outside his home.
“Next thing I know is they were coming across the front of our property with assault weapons out,” said Benonis. “I had asked my wife and daughter to get into the basement because I didn’t know if it was someone escaping from prison. I didn’t know what was going on. I just figured that was a safe spot to be.”
Turns out, police were called to Benonis’ neighbor’s house just a few doors down for what police are calling a murder-suicide.
County Police say Upper St. Clair Township officers received a call from a 67-year-old man Monday morning. Police say he said he had killed his wife and intended to take his own life.READ MORE: Assistant Marching Band Director At Pennsylvania High School Charged With Distributing And Possessing Child Porn
When a SWAT team entered the home, police say they found the man and his 54-year-old wife dead.
Detectives learned the couple was recently estranged and the woman had returned home for her belongings when she was shot and killed.
“It’s my understanding they recently separated and that the wife had moved out and returned to gather some belongings,” said Inspector Michael Peairs with Allegheny County Police.
HAPPENING NOW: We are on the scene of a police incident in Upper St. Clair on Thousand Oaks Drive. I’m working to get more information. The intersection of Hays Road at Franklin Drive is closed off to thru traffic. @KDKA pic.twitter.com/dVsrjLRXVy
— Amy Wadas (@AmyWadas) August 24, 2020
Responding officers didn’t hear any gunshots when they arrived, making them believe the man died by suicide after calling the police.
Neighbors said police did a great job handling such a tragic call.MORE NEWS: Pennsylvania Lawmaker Introduces Bill That Makes It Illegal For Any Employer To Require Workers To Be Vaccinated
“The way police conducted themselves very impressive very professional. It was not chaotic. It was very methodical. We didn’t know what was going on. At no time did we feel we were in danger,” said Benonis.