Frederick Clea Philadelphia area man shoots wife & mother in law dead over missing handgun magazine at their Cheltenham Township home. Latiya Clea & Mekenda Saunders i’d as victims.
A suburban Philadelphia man has admitted to shooting dead his wife and mother-in-law during a heated argument — over a loaded handgun magazine that’d gone missing.
Frederick Lee Clea, 57, told cops that he ‘went too far’ when he shot the two women at the family’s home in Cheltenham, Saturday afternoon, according to a probable cause affidavit provided by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
He said he started arguing with his 41-year-old wife, Latiya Clea, when he couldn’t locate the misplaced magazine and ‘ransacked’ their bedroom the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
The fight continued as the husband stormed downstairs, where his wife was putting away groceries with her 75-year-old mother, Mekenda Saunders, authorities said.
Frederick told Cheltenham police he then ‘just started shooting’ with a handgun he purchased earlier this year, the affidavit states.
‘They did nothing wrong’
Prior to the shooting, Clea said he and his wife were arguing for about 15 minutes, accusing her of having the loaded magazine in her possession a night earlier, according to the affidavit.
Clea told investigators his wife and mother-in-law ‘did nothing wrong’ before he shot them, adding that Saunders did not participate in the argument, authorities said.
Cops were sent to the couple’s home after getting a call just after noon Saturday for a domestic disturbance.
Latiya and Saunders were found with apparent gunshot wounds and pronounced dead at the scene, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said.
Frederick, who answered the door when cops arrived, told one of the officers that he had ‘gone too far’ and admitted he ‘shot them,’ the affidavit states.
An autopsy found that Latiya was shot five times, while Saunders died from a gunshot wound to the chest.
Two children, 10 and 5, who were inside the home during the shooting are now staying with relatives.
History of domestic violence
But there’s more.
Cops had responded to the couple’s residence for domestic violence calls on two prior occasions, including as recently as December, according to the affidavit.
‘The combination of a recently purchased gun and anger toward his wife and mother-in-law proved deadly,’ Steele said in a statement. ‘Tragically, two young children are now left without parents and a grandparent in their lives, and the defendant faces spending the rest of his life in prison.’
Investigators recovered a Glock semi-automatic handgun inside the home, Steele said.
‘I just can’t, I don’t believe, I don’t understand,’ said Joseph Saunders, the brother and son of one the victims via philadelphia cbs. ‘And now it’s just me left. My brother’s gone and now my sister’s gone. Our father been gone and now my mother’s gone.’
‘My mother asked me the other day for my social security number. And I’m like, ‘’Mom, for what?’’ So now, I think this was it, she must have knew this was coming down the line,’ he told the media outlet.
Frederick — who was charged with two counts of first- and third-degree murder, as well possessing an instrument of crime – remains held without bail at the Montgomery County Correctional Center. There is no bail in Pennsylvania for defendants charged with first-degree murder.
Clea’s preliminary hearing has been set for August 6.