Tuesday, September 30, 2014

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Community coming together after fatal shooting

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Community coming together after fatal shooting
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The aftermath of a deadly church shooting has devastated the entire Coudersport community. Sunday morning, a woman was shot to death during mass, allegedly by her ex-husband. Our Katie Husband has more on the shooting and how the small community is coming together.

POTTER COUNTY, Pa. -- More than 24 hours after the shooting, there was still a sense of disbelief.

"I prayed. It's never a good sign when you see police going into church on a Sunday morning," said Reverend Scott Ogden of Park United Methodist Church.

Reverend Scott Ogden was finishing up his mass at his neighboring Park United Methodist Church in Coudersport when he saw police respond to the First United Presbyterian Church. Pennsylvania State Police say around 11:30 a.m., Gregory Eldred walked into the church and shot his ex-wife, Darlene Sitler, in front of the organ. Sitler was a music teacher at the Northern Potter School District.

"Just trying to come to grasp the whole thing and it's very difficult," said Scott Graham, Superintendent of Northern Potter School District.

Witnesses say Eldred shot Sitler four times, left the church, came back in and threatened to shoot at least one more person.

Sitler taught for 30 years and is described as an amazing person.

"She had so much energy, she was so professional and she just loved her kids," said Graham.

Reverend Ogden says the best part about living in a small community is when tragedy strikes, everyone comes together.

"We have already been talking about how we can come together and help First Presbyterian Church as the ministerial for the foreseeable future," said Ogden.

And the calls have poured in.

"How can we help this church? That's what I'm seeing and hearing," said Ogden.

"We have members of the crisis team from Potter County here as well and we even have some of our local administerial offer their help as well," said Graham.

From one church to another, offering help to pick up the pieces after being broken.

Eldred has been charged with first degree murder and is being held in Potter County Jail.

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