Strasburg couple dead after reported murder-suicide outside a convenience store

Published: May. 21, 2020 at 1:11 PM EDT
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A couple from Strasburg died in what the Frederick County Sheriff's Office says was a murder-suicide on Wednesday that resulted in a large police presence at a convenience store.

According to the sheriff's office, around 10:30 p.m. on May 20, a woman walked into the Bo's Express at 3612 Valley Pike (Rt. 11) near Kernstown.

The woman, who witnesses said had blood on her clothing and was holding a gun, told the clerk that she had just shot her husband and was about to kill herself.

She then left the store and got into a red Jeep parked in the store's lot, according to deputies, at which point the clerk called 911.

When the Frederick County Sheriff's Office got to the scene, deputies established a perimeter around the Jeep, as well as a black SUV that was parked directly next to it. Deputies tried to call out to make contact with anyone inside.

Due to the positioning of the vehicles and safety concerns for law enforcement, they could not determine if either vehicle was occupied, although they could see that the Jeep appeared to have damage consistent with a shot having been fired from inside.

Virginia State Police and the Winchester Police Department also arrived on scene to assist. Soon afterward, a final call out was made to anyone in the vehicles and the Frederick County SWAT team approached.

When SWAT team members searched the vehicles, they found two people, in the driver's and passenger seats, dead, each of gunshot wounds.

The couple was identified as 54-year-old Richard Pelly and 51-year-old Sheila Pelly, a married couple with their last known address in Strasburg.

Both the Jeep and the Ford SUV parked next to it were registered to the couple.

The sheriff's office found no note or any other type of communication at the scene from either of the two, and they have determined no motive at this point.

Their remains are being sent to the medical examiner's office to verify cause of death.

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