The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

December 10, 2013

2 found dead from gunshots

By Melissa Klaric
Herald Staff Writer

HERMITAGE — Michael Eugene DeLong, 53, originally of Sharpsville, died from a single gunshot to the back, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:24 p.m. inside 1367 Buckeye Drive, South Pymatuning Township.

Sandy Joseph Hoffman, 50, of that address, died from a gunshot wound to the chest, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:52 p.m. in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Hermitage.

According to South Pymatuning Township police, a man called Mercer County 911 at 2:50 p.m. and said he had shot someone in self defense in his Buckeye Drive home.

The man, who identified himself as Hoffman, told the dispatcher he would be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, according to police radio traffic.

South Pymatuning police entered Hoffman’s home on Buckeye Drive and found DeLong dead inside, Sgt. Richard Christoff said.

At the same time, Hermitage police searched the cemetery and found Hoffman dead near the northeast corner.

The relationship between the men and circumstances surrounding the deaths is being investigated jointly by South Pymatuning and Hermitage police departments.

“There is no evidence to suggest that the deaths of DeLong and Hoffman are anything other than an isolated incident,” Christoff said in a press release.

“We can’t surmise as to what actually happened at this time,” he said.

He declined to release further information.

Both men were pronounced dead by Mercer County Deputy Coroner John A. Libonati.

Autopsies are to be performed today by Dr. Eric Vey, forensic pathologist, Erie County Coroner’s Office.