Counselors and Wattsburg Area School District respond to murder, suicide, and arson


The fatal suicide that killed two children has some counselors talking about the warning signs people should look out for when a person appears to be disturbed.

We drove to the Greene Township residence where the incident occurred. We also spoke to an advisor from the Crime Victim Center.

It’s been 24 hours and we can still smell the smoke from yesterday’s fires. Everything seems to be intact and we even see a children’s playground threshold.

The Crime Victim Center advisor said that signs of someone being disturbed can be very subtle.

It’s a quiet scene at the residence on the 9000 block off Sampson Road that has a playground waiting for kids to swing.

10-year-old Zachary Zimmer and 13-year-old Madison Zimmer won’t be able to do this because their father, whom the Pennsylvania State Police identified as 48-year-old Richard Zimmer, took their lives.

Police said Zimmer fatally shot and killed his two children at that Greene Township residence. Police said Zimmer set the apartment on fire and then killed himself.

In this deadly situation, some advisors, like Paul Lukach, warn against paying attention to behaviors that can lead to this type of tragedy.

“Listening is good, it’s great to be a surrounding board, but when you hear someone talking about harming themselves or others, or engaging in behaviors that just aren’t like them, these are the times to be to reach the good offices that we have and that help the people who urgently need them, ”said Paul Lukach, Executive Director of the Crime Victim Center.

After talking to neighbors off camera, one of them said the kids were wonderful and will miss them.

The two children were students of the Wattsburg Area School District.

According to the school district, Zachary and Madison Zimmer were students they said were wonderful young students.

In a statement, the Wattsburg Area School District said:

“The Wattsburg School District and the community are deeply saddened by the deaths of such wonderful young students and will work with their families to support them during this difficult time.”

Lukach said that neighbors, friends, and family members need to take care of each other if they notice any unusual behavior from a person.

Lukach suggests calling the mental health helpline if you or someone you know wants to take action to harm themselves or others.

Pennsylvania police said it would take a while to investigate the motive of this murder-suicide incident.

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