Snow shovelling argument leaves three dead in suspected murder-suicide shooting

An argument over snow-shovelling has left three people dead in a deadly winter shooting.

Officials in Luzerne County, northeastern Pennsylvania said gunfire occurred just before 9am on Monday morning in Plains Township.

The area had just been hit with a heavy snow storm at the time.

Neighbours say they heard about a dozen shots before a husband and wife were found dead in the street.

Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said the body of the suspected shooter was later found inside a nearby home, with his gunshot wound believed to have been self-inflicted.

The county coroner pronounced all three people dead just before 11:30am on Monday.

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Ms Salavantis said preliminary investigations have suggested there was a long-running dispute among the parties involved.

"This morning, the dispute was exacerbated by a disagreement over snow disposal," she added.

Police believe the shooter "exited his residence and fired upon the couple, killing both husband and wife".

Luzerne County District Attorney's Office has identified the dead couple as James and Lisa Goy, and the suspected shooter as Jeffrey Spaide.

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The shooting happened in the midst of a record blizzard that left thousands without power in 20 states across the East Coast of the USA.

Storm Orlena brought up to 30 inches of snow in some areas, sparking widespread travel chaos.

A fourth person in Pennsylvania also died in the winter freeze, identified as a 67-year-old woman with Alzheimer's believed to have wandered away from her home.

By Monday night 20 inches of snow or more had already fallen from eastern Pennsylvania to northern New Jersey, with a staggering 30 inches reported in New Jersey.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warned the situation was "as serious as a heart attack".

The National Weather Service said more than 15.3 of snow had fallen in Manhattan's Central Park as of 5pm on Monday, making it the first snowstorm to dump a foot or more of snow on the city in five years.

Storm watches and weather advisories were in effect across 20 states, according to the National Weather Prediction Centre.

The storm has also forced a number of coronavirus vaccination centres to close.

Showers of snow are expected to continue throughout Tuesday.

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