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Richland Township murder-suicide involved sheriff's deputy, girlfriend

Cambria County Coroner Jeff Lees identified the two deceased individuals as Matthew Dunkleberger, 22, and Amanda Bennett, 20. (Richland Township police)

JOHNSTOWN – The two people who died in Tuesday’s early morning murder-suicide in Richland Township have been identified.

Cambria County Coroner Jeff Lees identified the couple as Amanda Bennett, 20, and Matthew Dunkleberger, 22.

Lees ruled Bennett’s death as a homicide and Dunkelberger’s as a suicide during an afternoon news conference in the Central Park Complex in downtown Johnstown.

Bennett and Dunkleberger, who were in a relationship and lived in a townhome at Aspen Woods, each died of a single gunshot wound to the head, Lees said.

Richland Township police Detective Thomas Keirn said Dunkleberger, a sheriff’s deputy in Cambria County and a part-time Cambria Township police officer, shot his girlfriend, then himself.

Lees said Bennett was pronounced dead at the scene and Dunkleberger died in the emergency room at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center.

“It appears there was domestic problems of some sort and it escalated into this ending," Keirn said.

Officials said Bennett and Dunkleberger, the son of Stonycreek Township police Chief David Dunkleberger, had an infant together.

Bennett also had another child from a previous relationship under the age of 5.

Neither child was with the couple during the domestic incident, police said.

Keirn said Dunkleberger had a blood alcohol content of 0.13 percent, well above the 0.08 percent limit police consider too drunk to drive.

Cambria County dispatch received a call from a family member that two people had been shot in the Aspen Woods complex at 12:08 a.m.

Lees said Dunkelberger and Bennett were on the second floor.

Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan said since she took over in 2010, there have been six murder-suicide incidents in Cambria County, and five involved a woman being killed by a partner or husband.

"Use this as opportunity to reach out to anyone who is living in abusive relationship that you need to get out of that," Callihan said. "Get help.

"If you're in danger and worry about stigma of law enforcement, when it's too late, it's too late. A family member is not the best option if you feel your life is in danger."

The homicide investigation is ongoing, but Callihan said charges are unlikely to be filed.


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