Roderick Bliss IV, Wilson Borough, Pennsylvania man shoots his girlfriend then kills himself after losing his job amid coronavirus pandemic. Woman survives w/ gunshot wound to the back.
A Pennsylvania man has shot himself to death moments after attempting to shoot his girlfriend after losing his job over the coronavirus pandemic in an attempted murder-suicide, police have said.
Roderick Bliss IV, 38, shot his girlfriend in the back before turning the gun on himself at a Pennsylvania home on Monday afternoon.
Wilson Police officers responded to a call on 54 North 17th Street in Wilson Borough where a 43-year-old woman said she had been shot by her longtime boyfriend.
Bliss was found unresponsive and not breathing with a semi-automatic pistol near his body.
The woman had a gunshot wound to her back.
She told police that days prior to the shooting, Bliss had become increasingly upset about the pandemic and about losing his job. It wasn’t immediately clear what work Bliss did.
Minutes before the shooting, the woman said Bliss went into the basement and came outside on the porch with the handgun.
She told officers that Bliss said to her, ‘I already talked to God and I have to do this.’
When she ran from the home, Bliss fired at her four times, striking her once in the back.
He then shot and killed himself, police said in a news release lehighvalleylive reports.
Northampton County Coroner Zach Lysek arrived on scene and later ruled Bliss’s death a suicide.
The victim was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital where she underwent surgery.
She is currently in the intensive care unit and is expected to survive, police Chief Chris Meehan said.
Economic downturn in face of coronavirus:
It wasn’t immediately clear if Bliss lost his job due to the economic downturn due to the pandemic, Meehan said.
A man who works nearby said he called police after hearing the gunshots.
Sammy Greggs told WFMZ: ‘I heard four gunshots, so I ran away. I called the police, I ran to the side of the hill and looked down and shouted for help.’
Local experts have cautioned that the pandemic could have a severe impact on mental health in the coming months.
Lisa Cozzi, the director of Lehigh County Crisis Intervention and Information Referral, The Morning Call that mental health experts are expecting it to have an impact on the number of suicides.
April, May and June are the months when suicides increase, according to Cozzi.
‘This time of the year, we see a rise in suicides in general, and now we have this crisis on top of it,’ she said.
‘We are expecting it to have an impact.
‘This is a very stressful time for all of us — even those who might not have previously dealt with mental health issues,’ Cozzi added.
‘But there are resources to help.’
Stay-at-home orders and strict limits on gathering sizes have forced shops, restaurants and bars to shut down indefinitely.
Many service industry workers since thrust into unemployment, live paycheck-to-paycheck, even in the best of times. Now, many say they don’t have the money to pay rent.
While the stimulus package passed by Congress last week should put cash in the pockets of tenants in several weeks, the economic carnage of the pandemic is still unfolding.
Unemployment in the United States hit a record high last week with 3.28million people – four times the previous record of 695,000 in October 1982 – making claims.
One in three Americans report someone living in their household has lost their job or been forced to take a pay cut.
Coronavirus job losses in the United States could hit 47 million, with unemployment at more than 30 per cent, according to stark new estimates by a Federal Reserve.