Person questioned in connection with New Castle triple homicide

Person questioned in connection with New Castle triple homicide

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — A mother, child and man were found dead inside a New Castle home early Tuesday.

Police were called to a home on West North Street at 8:43 a.m., after being contacted by family members of the people who live there.

PHOTOS: Police find several people dead inside New Castle home

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When officers arrived at the home, they found Nichole Pumphrey, 31; her daughter, Amariah Emery, 10; and Lawrence Cannon, 30, dead on the first floor. Pumphrey and her daughter lived at the home, and Cannon lived elsewhere, police said.

Following autopsies on Tuesday, the coroner said that all three victims died as the result of a gunshot wound. Their deaths were ruled homicides. Nichole Pumphrey had been shot twice. Emery and Canon were each shot once, the coroner said.

<p>Nichole Pumphrey (Photo courtesy of Facebook)</p>

Nichole Pumphrey (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

Victim Nichole Pumphrey

Cannon is believed to have been a friend of Pumphrey's. He was a father to four children, but not the children who were in the house.

Police are not saying how they were killed or who they suspect in this, but that they are interviewing 'persons of interest.'

"Any Time there’s a child involved in a homicide it’s horrific for us, it’s a hard case to process and you want to get to the bottom of it and figure out why?" said Bobby Salem, chief of the New Castle Police Department.

Channel 11 spoke with a man who identified himself as the father of Lawrence Cannon. He doesn't know why his son was at the house.

Cannon moved to New Castle two weeks ago from Oklahoma City to be closer to his parents, his father said.

Victim Lawrence Cannon

Four of Nichole's other children, all under 9-years-old, were in the home, police said. Those children were not injured and are now with other family members.

"She did try to do her best for her kids, she didn't do anything to deserve this," said Jeff Pumphrey, Nichole's brother and Amariyah's uncle. "She was one of the most loveliest children. She was polite respectful fun to be around always had a smile on her face always positive."

Superintendent Debra DeBlasio told Channel 11 Emery attended George Washington Intermediate School, which is less than two miles from the home where this happened.

The district will have guidance counselors available on Wednesday for faculty and students.

Tuesday was the first day of DeBlasio's new role as superintendent of New Castle Area School District.

The police chief said the investigation is in its early stages and it's too early to talk about a motive. No arrests have been made.