Pennsylvania man who lost job amid coronavirus pandemic shoots girlfriend before killing self: report

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A Pennsylvania man who recently lost his job amid the global coronavirus pandemic shot his girlfriend Monday before turning the gun on himself, according to reports.

Roderick Bliss, 38, of Wilson Borough, Pa. shot at his longtime girlfriend four times Monday, striking her once in the back, police said. He then shot and killed himself. His death has been ruled a suicide, Northampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek told Lehigh Valley Live.

Police responded to the home around 1:19 p.m. after a worker nearby called 911 after hearing gunshots, Police Chief Chris Meehan said. Officers found Bliss unresponsive with a semiautomatic pistol next to his body, WFMZ reported.

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The 43-year-old girlfriend, whose name was not released by authorities, was rushed to St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill, where she underwent surgery for a single gunshot wound to her back. She remained hospitalized in intensive care Tuesday and is expected to survive, Meehan said.

She was alert when paramedics arrived and was able to tell officers what happened before the shooting. Investigators conducted more detailed interviews with the girlfriend and others who were familiar with the couple the next day.

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“In the days prior to the shooting, Bliss had become increasingly upset over the COVID-19 pandemic," Meehan said. "Minutes before the shooting, Bliss was extremely upset about the pandemic and the fact that he had recently lost his job.

“He went into the basement and came outside onto the rear porch with the victim. While holding the handgun, Bliss told the victim, ‘I already talked to God and I have to do this.’ The victim ran off the porch and he shot at her four times, striking her once. Bliss then shot himself.”

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Pennsylvania has recorded more than 5,800 confirmed cases of COVID-19 by Wednesday, with at least 74 deaths.