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Identities released of two killed in Dover Township murder-suicide

According to crews at the scene, the stand-off ended around 2:30 p.m. when police heard a single gunshot inside the house.

DOVER, Pa. — Two people are dead after an apparent murder-suicide, officials said.

Law enforcement and emergency personnel responded to the scene of a reported police incident in Dover Township on Wednesday morning, according to emergency dispatch.

The incident, later identified as a shooting, was reported at 8:51 a.m. on the 4100 block of Strawbridge Court, near Nittany Drive and Majestic/Trabert Court, emergency dispatch said.

According to crews at the scene, the stand-off ended around 2:30 p.m. when police heard a single gunshot inside the house. They entered the home.

"We have to take into account the wellbeing of a potential hostage or victim, and once gunfire starts that then becomes an active situation. Officers are trained to make immediate entry to try to save life, and unfortunately in this case that didn’t happen and it didn’t matter," Northern York County Regional Police Department Chief David Lash.

After entering the house, police said they found the bodies of Devon C. Elias, 31, of Maryland, and Megan Saunders, 29, of Dover, in an apparent murder-suicide. 

Saunders was found deceased on the staircase leading to the second floor, while Elias was discovered on the third floor with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. 

Both were pronounced dead at the scene. 

Authorities said they had been in contact with the suspect inside the home for nearly five hours while that suspect made threats towards Saunders, and himself.

It's believed that Elias entered Saunders' home Wednesday morning and shot her, then remained inside the home for several hours before shooting himself, according to the York County Coroner's Office. 

The two reportedly shared a child and Saunders had a Protection From Abuse order filed against Elias issued, according to the Northern York County Regional Police Department. 

Neighbors in the immediate area of the house were evacuated for a period of time.

"Nothing like this happens here. We are a very close-knit community. We all help each other out and work together," said neighbor Kelly Bebout. "This is stuff you see on the news, not in your neighborhood.”

Two guns were located at the scene, .380 caliber pistol, which was reportedly stolen in 1984 in Renton, Washington and a .22 caliber pistol. 

A keep-out order was issued out of an abundance of caution for the Dover Area School District. Regular activities resumed within the school but no one was permitted in or out, according to Brad Perkins a spokesperson with the Dover Township School District. The order was issued at 10:45 a.m. and lifted at 1:42 p.m. 

Buses with stops in the affected neighborhood were affected and each family member was individually contacted about the disrupted schedule. All other buses operated as expected and dismissal was as usual, according to Perkins. 

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