A former state trooper killed his estranged wife with a shotgun inside a Central Pennsylvania supermarket Thursday and then killed himself, days after she filed for divorce and two months after he was accused of beating her, police said.
Mark R. Miscavish, who retired from the State Police in 2011 after 15 years, killed Traci A. Miscavish at the County Market in Philipsburg, authorities said.
Authorities said he began searching the store for her after arriving there around 10 a.m. He located her in an upstairs office of the business and shortly thereafter shot her and then turned the gun on himself, officials said.
He was arrested on Jan. 23 after his wife, who had recently left him, returned to the home to retrieve some belongings, Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said.
Traci Miscavish believed her husband had been abusing prescription drugs and when she went to take them away, he wrestled her to the ground, pinned her arms behind her, and attempted to bind her with duct tape, said Parks Miller, whose office was prosecuting him.
He pulled out a gun — a police affidavit said he did not point it at her — and threatened to kill her, but a passerby saw him trying to drag her back into the home and stopped to help, Parks Miller said. He was charged with simple assault, terroristic threats, and harassment and spent a week in jail.
Parks Miller said Traci Miscavish lived in fear of her 51-year-old estranged husband and told prosecutors she believed he would harm her further.
Traci Miscavish filed for divorce within the past week.
Her sister Gina March, speaking to reporters outside the supermarket after the shooting, said the system had failed both her sister and her brother-in-law. ‘‘He wasn’t in his right mind,’’ March said. ‘‘I don’t believe he’s at fault, I believe he needed help.”
Christina Price, who said she works at a liquor store in the same strip mall as the supermarket, told the Centre Daily Times that Traci Miscavish was a cheerful woman and so friendly and happy that ‘‘you couldn’t imagine there was stuff going on at home.’’