Paragraph nine reads: "Thompson, 61, of Lower Paxton Township, said Betty Scott had been in the hospital about a month before for depression and was on medication. He said Sebrina Scott also was battling health problems that caused her legs to swell and limited her mobility."
Neighbors are 'totally shocked' by apparent murder-suicide attempt in Susquehanna Township
Published: Tuesday, July 27, 2010, 12:00 AM Updated: Tuesday, July 27, 2010, 7:22 AM
KOURTNEY GEERS, The Patriot-News
Larry Thompson shook his head as he watched police remove crime scene tape from the perimeter of William and Betty Lou Scotts' Susquehanna Township home Monday afternoon.
Thompson, who said he was best man at the Scotts’ wedding, lowered his eyes as he heard the anguished screams of a family member being told by police that investigators believe Betty Lou Scott shot and killed her 40-year-old daughter, then turned the gun on herself in a failed suicide attempt.
“I am totally shocked,” said Thompson, adding that he knew Betty Lou Scott, 61, had been treated for depression recently. “I’ve known every one of their kids. I’ve watched them grow up, and never in my wildest dream did I think that something like this would happen.”
Police said 62-year-old William “Bill” Scott Jr. had returned to the 2600 block of Locust Lane home from his part-time newspaper delivery job around 6:30 a.m. Monday and found his wife bleeding in the driveway from a bullet wound to her upper torso.
Inside the brick rancher, police said they recovered a handgun and found the couple’s eldest daughter, Sebrina, dead in bed from a bullet wound to the head. She had been living in the house with her parents, police said.
Susquehanna Police Chief Rob Martin said based on the evidence collected at the scene, the incident is being investigated as a murder and attempted suicide and there are no other suspects.
He said Betty Scott was taken to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and was out of surgery by the afternoon.
Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico called the Scott family’s situation a tragedy and said investigators would be looking at both the mother’s mental health status and the condition of the daughter. Criminal charges, he said, would be filed pending the results of the investigation and Betty Scott’s health.
Thompson, 61, of Lower Paxton Township, said Betty Scott had been in the hospital about a month before for depression and was on medication. He said Sebrina Scott also was battling health problems that caused her legs to swell and limited her mobility.
Sebrina was the oldest of the couple’s three daughters, Thompson said.
He said the Scotts built their home in the 1970s.
Thompson said he rushed to the family’s house as soon as his son, about Sebrina’s age, told him what happened. He said he last visited the Scotts on Wednesday to help William Scott hang drywall. Thompson said Betty didn’t look well at the time.
He said William and Betty Scott had been caring for their daughter for years.
“Sebrina’s problems have been ongoing since she was a teenager when she graduated from high school. They’d been taking care of each other,” Thompson said, referring to Betty and Sebrina Scott.
After the crime scene tape was taken down from the small yard, Thompson joined the members of the Scott family who had gathered outside consoling each other, giving space to William, who they said was inside and unable to speak.
Charlease Trueblood, Sebrina’s cousin, and other family members declined to comment.
Martin, a 27-year veteran of the police force, said the best way for him to explain the situation was to invoke the words of Ernest Hemingway, who said that the world breaks everybody and those that it doesn’t break have to be strong.
“Today what we have is a broken family and that’s not to detract from the beautiful family that they are,” Martin said.
“Those that are remaining, that are alive today, are going to have to be strong in those broken places,” Martin said. “At the end of the day, this outcome is just a tragic situation for all involved.”