Police: Father was shooter in double murder-suicide in North Huntingdon

by: Joe Napsha, TribLIVE Updated:

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IRWIN, Pa. —

Investigators have determined a 68-year-old North Huntingdon man fired the shots that killed his wife and son in the family home before turning the gun on himself sometime Tuesday morning, two days before the tragedy was discovered, North Huntingdon police said Saturday morning.

Det. Sgt. Jeffrey Bouldin said Franklin D. Hutchison fired the fatal shots into the heads of his wife, Hazel, 67, and their son, William R. Hutchison, 47, in their home at 2081 Guffey Road. The gun used in the shootings was found near Franklin Hutchison's body, Bouldin said.

All three family members died of a single gunshot to the heard, Bouldin said. Hazel Hutchison was found upstairs in her bed, her son was found in a hallway and Franklin Hutchison was discovered downstairs, Bouldin said.

The Westmoreland County Coroner's office pronounced all three dead at about 10:42 p.m. Thursday and listed the time of the incident at about 9:20 p.m. The autopsies were conducted Friday, but as of Saturday morning, the coroner had not updated a news release stating the cause and manner of death was pending.

Police are still working to learn who owned the gun and the type of gun used in the shootings, Bouldin said.

Although the bodies were not found until Thursday, Bouldin said police believe the shootings occurred Tuesday morning because neighbors told investigators the elder Hutchison always took his garbage out shortly before it was collected on Tuesday mornings and the cans remained along the street.

As for a motive in the murder-suicide, Bouldin described it as “a family situation.” He did not offer an additional explanation.

Police went to the Hutchison home Thursday night because William Hutchison had not been to his place of work at Sendell Motors of Hempfield, for a few days, Bouldin said.

Bouldin said the family's other son, Bruce, of White Oak, had not attempted to contact his parents between Tuesday and Thursday evening.

The gun used in the shootings was taken by the Westmoreland County Detectives, who assisted in the investigation, Bouldin said.

This article was written by Channel 11's news exchange partners at TribLIVE.