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Official: Father, stepson dead in Poconos shooting

By Jamie Peter, WFMZ.com Reporter, JPeter@wfmz.com
Gina Johnson, Web Producer
Published On: Mar 19 2014 07:00:10 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 20 2014 04:53:32 PM CDT

Another fatal shooting has rocked a quiet Poconos community.

ELDRED TWP., Pa. -

Another fatal shooting has rocked a quiet Poconos community.

Monroe County Coroner Bob Allen has confirmed a father and son were killed in a shooting in Eldred Twp., Monroe Co., about five miles from the scene of a shooting at the Ross Township municipal building in August.

The victims are identified as Jeffrey Place, 54, and his stepson Steven Powell, 30, of 422 Meixsell Valley Rd. in Eldred Township.

State Police arrested their neighbor, Garry Sherwood Flyte, 54, of 428 Meixsell Valley Rd., and charged him with criminal homicide.

According to police documents, Flyte went to the victims' home, walked in and shot Powell in the arm and chest. He was found in the front room near an enclosed porch. 

Flyte then approached Place, told him he had to kill him, and shot him in the abdomen with the same shotgun, according to documents. This shooting took place in the enclosed front porch.

Flyte then searched the residence for Wendy Place, didn't find her, but shot the family dog, officials said.

Police said Flyte returned to his home on foot, left the shotgun on his couch, then returned to the victims' home. There he called 911 and told police that he had shot three people.

Flyte was detained by 27-year-old Jerry Place, officials said.

Allen was called to the scene just before 8 p.m. Wednesday, he told 69 News.  Initial reports for the shooting came in around 7 p.m.  Allen said Jeffrey Place was pronounced dead at the scene and Powell died at Pocono Medical Center.

State police said Flyte was taken into custody at the victims' home without incident.  So far, a motive for the shooting has not been released.

Flyte was charged with two counts of criminal homicide and one count of cruelty to animals.

Neighbors wonder if drugs may be involved.  They say the neighborhood has been changing in recent years.

"This used to be a quiet neighborhood. And now? Now, you don't know from day to day what you're going to hear," said Don Kresge.  "It's too much activity going on here.  I'd say a lot of the problems around here is drug-related problems."

Just 7 months ago, on Aug. 5, 2013, Rockne Newell opened fire at a Ross Township municipal meeting. 

Police said Newell had a long-running dispute with supervisors over the condition of his property. He pleaded not guilty in December.