Pennsylvania Shooting Leaves East Village Man Dead and Two Injured

By Tom Liddy | July 3, 2011 6:40pm | Updated on July 4, 2011 11:23am
A pair of candles sat outside the victims' home on East 10th Street Monday morning.
A pair of candles sat outside the victims' home on East 10th Street Monday morning.
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DNAinfo/Patrick Hedlund

By Tom Liddy and Patrick Hedlund

DNAinfo News Editors

MANHATTAN – An East Village man and a 2-year-old boy were killed and three others were critically wounded during a shooting at a house in Pennsylvania over the weekend, authorities said.

Joseph Shay, 43, who split time between an East 10th Street apartment and an address in Yarmouth, Mass., was found shot in the head Saturday inside the house at 50 Renninger Rd. in rural Bechtelsville, Pa., about 30 miles outside Philadelphia, police said.

Also killed in the shooting was 2-year-old Gregory Erdmann, of Fall River, Mass., according to Douglass Township Police.

Among those critically wounded were couple Paul Shay, 64 and Monica Shay, 58, who lived in the same East Village apartment as Joseph Shay, police and neighbors said.

Kathryn Erdmann, Gergory's mother and reportedly Joseph Shay's girlfriend, was also shot in the head and is in critical condition, police added.

The incident is being investigated as a murder, according to the Montogomery County District Attorney's office. Paul and Monica Shay owned the Pennsylvania home where the shootings occurred, authorities added.

A longtime neighbor of the Shays on East 10th Street said Paul and Monica Shay had been letting Joseph Shay, their nephew, stay with them for the past several years.

Paul had been employing Joseph at his plumbing company and allowed him to stay at the couple's apartment between First Avenue and Avenue A, where Paul had lived for more than a decade, the neighbor added.

"He took him in and gave him work," said Dan Hoyt, 48, who co-owns the restaurant Quintessence next door to the Shays' apartment and lives on the same block. "He was with him all the time."

Joseph Shay reportedly had a criminal record, including a grand a larceny charge in New York from 2008.

Hoyt said Joseph had recently been released from prison, and said Paul was known to employ ex-cons at his company to help them get back on their feet.

The neighbor described Joseph Shay as a "good guy," who he often saw around the neighborhood.

"He was a very happy-go-lucky guy," Hoyt said, "always cheerful."

The circumstances surrounding the shooting were not immediately clear, and none of the surviving victims have been able to speak to investigators, authorities said.

Autopsies are currently being conducted.