Shooter named in murder-suicide

By on March 4, 2015
Yarra Wilson, director of human resources for Clair Global, was shot twice by  her husband Avery Wilson, who worked as an assistant principal  at Solanco High School.

Yarra Wilson, director of human resources for Clair Global, was shot twice by her husband Avery Wilson, who worked as an assistant principal at Solanco High School.

Yarra Wilson had worked as director of human resources for Clair Global in Lititz since October 2011.

But Mrs. Wilson’s life ended on Feb. 28 along with Avery Wilson, her husband, who worked as an assistant principal at Solanco High School.

Police on Wednesday reported Mr. Wilson was  the  shooter who killed his wife with two gun shots before taking his own life in a locked room inside a Lancaster Township apartment where the couple’s children were present.

The Lancaster County District Attorney’s office had released few details of its investigation pending the release of an autopsy scheduled for Wednesday.

District Attorney Craig Stedman, who waited until Wednesday’s autopsy report was released to name Mr. Wilson as the shooter, presented findings to members of the Wilsons’ families before informing the the media.

The DA has been reluctant to discuss  weapons information in recent cases involving gun violence. Stedman would not comment Tuesday on the make of the weapon or who it was registered to.

The murder is just the latest in a long list the District Attorney’s office has investigated recently and the third locally related death involving a shooting in which investigators have not disclosed the weapon used.

They include the Wilson murder-suicide on Saturday and the Feb. 18 murder of Monica Miller by accused shooter Randy Shreiner, who worked for a Lititz remodeling company.

The DA has not disclosed the weapon or weapons used in the unsolved, double-shooting and murder of 23-year-old Brett Simmons during a home invasion in Clay Township on Sept. 25.

Avery WilsonStedman has rejected requests for specifics about the weapons used in Miller’s death or the Simmons shooting, which the DA believes to be drug-related but will not say how.

Few legal issues evoke greater emotion than Second Amendment-related issues, and the recent local gun violence has prompted calls by gun-control advocates for a waiting period to purchase handguns. Currently the waiting period in Pennsylvania to purchase a gun is as long as it takes to do a telephone background check.

Proponents of imposing a waiting period on gun purchases say the murder of Monica Miller underscores why a delay is a good idea.

Several people on social media weighed in on Miller’s death by accused shooter Randall Shreiner, who police say was a jilted lover. Shreiner is accused of killing Miller in Ephrata with a gun he purchased just the day before at Musser’s Outdoors.

Debbie Kozlowski summed up the feelings of many in the area. “(I’m) not against guns. But, there should be a waiting period,” she said.

Sara Alleman noted that a handgun in the hands of a properly licensed and trained civilian can save lives and provide protection for families and individuals.

“And it is my right as an American citizen to legally own a handgun,” she wrote.

Jeff Huntington was more direct about his opposition to guns, except for hunting. “Guns have no place in the hands of civilians in a civilized society &tstr; but I recognize, and can tolerate, a sporting interest. As far as protection, I bet that more folks are killed by accident by guns in civilian hands than have saved lives,” he wrote.

David Hess suggested a five-day waiting period for screening of the prospective buyer

“Furthermore, for legal purposes of sport shooting and hunting, I don’t understand why civilian citizens would require firearms other than semi-automatic rifles and shotguns for personal use,” Hess noted. “Handguns are basically used for offensive purposes and ownership of these should be restricted, except to persons with special needs and who meet special licensing requirements.”

Stedman on Tuesday refused to comment about gun control but acknowledged “obviously these are important issues to be debated in the legislature.”

He said more information “will be released to the public regarding the murder-suicide as soon as the coroner does the autopsies.”

Patrick Burns is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at or at 721-4455. 

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