YORK COUNTY, Pa. — “What occurred this Saturday was a senseless loss of life and tragedy for both families as well as our community," said Spring Garden Township police chief George Swartz.
He was echoing a sentiment felt all over the Central York community.
Two families, and an entire school community, are now left grieving.
Erin Walker, a 36-year-old Central York High School teacher and mother of a three-year-old girl, was shot multiple times by her next-door neighbor, Daniel Berry, on Saturday evening.
Police say Walker had lived at her home on the 400 block of Hill Street since 2010.
Berry moved in next door in November.
The 59-year-old man lived at the home with his elderly mother.
According to police, officers were called multiple times by both neighbors over the recent placement of a shed in Berry’s back yard between May 19 and Saturday.
When the shed was installed, one of Walker’s phone lines became disconnected from her home.
“Apparently this precipitated phone calls between Ms. Walker and Mr. Berry over fixing this disconnected line," said Chief Swartz.
Police made arrangements with Verizon to come fix the line.
In the meantime, Walker filed a complaint with the township zoning office, saying the shed was placed illegally.
Police confirm Berry never obtained a permit.
Berry did call the police department on May 20, asking a zoning officer to come out and look at the placement of his shed.
The officer advised Berry to contact the zoning office and follow the appropriate process.
Then on Saturday evening, the two got into a discussion when Walker returned home from the store, according to neighbors whose security camera captured the incident.
That discussion led to Berry shooting Walker then turning the gun on himself.
“We deal with civil disputes over boundary lines and other things and to have this, with the death of Erin Walker and Daniel Berry, if it was the result of the shed, it’s tragic, it didn’t need to happen," said Swartz.
Berry died outside his home on Saturday.
Walker was taken to the hospital, where she died Sunday afternoon.
Police say there may have been other factors which led to the tragic outcome which they’re not currently aware of and that they may never know.
Investigators are looking into whether Berry legally purchased the gun used in the incident.
Police are not speculating or commenting on Berry’s physical or mental state at this time.