Father Suspected To Be Gunman in Pennsylvania Shooting That Killed Entire Family

Earlier this month, a Pennsylvania married couple and their three small children were found shot to death in their home. The Berks County District Attorney’s Office said Monday they believe Mark Short Sr. was the gunman, killing his wife Megan and their children before shooting himself.


Police were called to the Short family home in Sinking Spring, Penn., on August 6 after Megan failed to show up for a planned lunch date. She was found dead, along with Mark and their children 8-year-old Lianna, 5-year-old Mark Jr. and 2-year-old Willow. The family dog was also shot to death.

The DA said today the medical examiner has determined Mark Sr. died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A suicide note left on the dining room table also matched his handwriting. Short had lost his job as a loan officer shortly before the shooting, NBC Philadelphia reports.

Berks County DA John Adams also said at a Monday press conference that the couple had previously had “domestic disputes,” and that police were called to the home on July 18. No charges were filed; Megan Short told responding officers she was afraid of her husband, Adams said. They gave her instructions on how to get a protective order but she “declined” to proceed with the paperwork, The Morning Call reports.

Mark Short legally purchased a .38 caliber handgun the following day from a licensed dealer. Megan Short posted on social media sometime before the shooting that she planned to move out, and had already leased an apartment, where she planned to move August 6, investigators said.

Baby Willow had a heart transplant when she was just six days old, and the New York Times wrote about Megan’s difficulties obtaining anti-rejection medicine for her. A video from the hospital where Willow’s transplant was performed shows Megan holding her and beaming, thanking the staff for taking care of them.

Funeral services were held Friday for Megan and the children, Philly.com reports. Mark Short was mentioned only in passing and wasn’t shown in a photo on a funeral card. A separate, private memorial service is reportedly planned for him.

Anna Merlan was a Senior Reporter at G/O Media until September 2019. She's the author of Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power.


Hamlet goes against fascism

Anyone with just passing knowledge of domestic violence would have known it was the father who killed the family and then himself. I knew when it was reported that the dog was also killed. These kinds of murders are about dominance and control.