Allentown
36° F
Clear
Clear
 

Texas community steps up to help family of Poconos shooting victims

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 22 2014 02:12:05 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 24 2014 04:37:09 AM CDT

Tragedy in the Poconos

A father and son gunned down by their neighbor in the Poconos earlier this week will be laid to rest Monday.

Services for 54-year-old Jeffrey Place and his 30-year-old stepson Steven Powell will be held at the Donald N. Gower Funeral Home in Gilbert, Monroe County.

Investigators say 55-year-old Garry Flyte confessed twice that he shot and killed Jeffrey and Jeffrey's stepson Steven inside their home Wednesday on Meixsell Valley Road in Eldred Township.

"He's been very nasty in his life, I mean, he goes by the nickname 'Madman,'" explained Flyte's daughter-in-law Christina Flyte. "That's what he was."

According to court documents, after the first two shootings Flyte searched the home for anyone else. He then killed the family dog, Cam, with his shotgun.

Steven's older brother Trey was at work in Texas when he got the terrible news over the phone.

"He just collapsed," explained family friend Maddie Fenn. "I've never seen something so devastating or so sad."

When officers arrived at the scene of the attack, Jeffrey had already passed away. Steven was taken to the hospital, but he didn't make it.

"At that time when he received the call, his brother Steven was still alive. He did not find out until later that night that his brother did not make it," Maddie shared.

Since the incident, the entire family has come together in Pennsylvania for support.

"They're holding up," added Maddie. "I wouldn't say they're holding up very well, but I don't think you are expected to in this situation."

Immediately, Maddie says she wanted to help and create a source of comfort for the family during such a difficult time. The day after the shootings she started the GoFundMe page online to raise money the family can use for the funerals, travel expenses, even legal fees.

"I would like to raise enough money to cover these costs for them as well as have some money left over for some counseling for the family so they can take care of themselves," she explained.

Help has been pouring in from across the county. So far, nearly $15,000 has been donated. Besides the financial help, Maddie hopes the family finds solace in the support of strangers.

"I think especially when you've been betrayed and hurt by something like that, and somebody had tried to tear your family apart, I think it's important to know that there are hundreds of other people who are willing to help put it back together," Maddie said.

Flyte is being held in Monroe County prison. He's set to be in court on March 31st.