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Police: Man shot ex-wife as she played organ at church

Police cars are parked 180-year-old First United  Presbyterian Church Coudersport Sunday morning Dec. 2 2012 where church organist Darlene

Police cars are parked at the 180-year-old First United Presbyterian Church of Coudersport Sunday morning, Dec. 2, 2012, where church organist Darlene Sitler, 53, was shot to death by her ex-husband Gregory Eldred, 52, during a worship service. Eldred, an elementary school music teacher, walked into the church in the middle of Sunday services and shot and killed his ex-wife as she sat in a pew, police said. (AP Photo/The Bradford Era, Amanda Jones)

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PITTSBURGH — Police say an elementary school music teacher shot his ex-wife while she played the organ during a Sunday church service, then returned moments later to shoot her again and ensure she was dead before congregants stopped and grabbed him.

Those details are contained in a criminal complaint filed Monday against 52-year-old Gregory Eldred, of Coudersport.

He’s jailed without bond on first-degree murder and other charges stemming from the shooting at the First United Presbyterian Church of Coudersport, about 140 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

That’s where Eldred’s ex-wife, 53-year-old Darlene Sitler, was playing the organ when she was shot about 20 minutes into the service.

Court papers indicate the pastor and two other worshippers confronted and stopped Eldred, who allegedly threatened to shoot them, but didn’t.



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