Neighbors react to Northumberland County triple homicide

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STONINGTON, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Three people were gunned down in their home in Northumberland County. The suspect is now in custody and a small community is struggling with what happened.

The suspect told police he came to steal their car and ended up shooting the three victims. State police say 23-year-old Matthew Reed told them he “snapped” before he murdered three people in a quiet neighborhood near Sunbury.

“It’s puzzling to me why people can…why someone can take three people’s lives,” neighbor Nenita Woods said.

“I really felt for the family, and I can’t imagine what they’re going through. But it is scary because I like living here, it’s quiet. It was just shocking for that to happen. I was hoping when I woke up this morning it just would have been a bad dream,” neighbor Michelle Ballou said.

Wednesday evening, troopers responded to a report of a dead body at a house on Snydertown Road. Inside, they found three people dead, with multiple gunshot wounds.

The victims were identified as 58-year-old Susan Williams, 59-year-old James Dicken, and a 17-year-old boy. Reed had been spotted at the house talking to the victims earlier that day.

Troopers say Reed wanted to buy the victims’ 1997 Toyota Camry. When they declined, he left, came back with a gun, killed them, and stole the car. Reed drove the car to Haven Ministries where he lives and was captured by police.

“We’re all guilty of sometimes trusting people too much and he probably seemed like a decent kid who just needed a break,” Ballou said.

Ballou says this could have happened to anyone. She, along with Woods, a couple houses down, no longer feel safe in their homes.

“What’s disturbing is, they were in their house. You’re not safe in your own home. Anybody can just show up in your house and shoot you and you’re gone,” Woods said.

They say it’s the senselessness of it that keeps them up at night.

“I really want to stay around a little bit so I can watch them grow up, see my grandkids grow older. Those two are not going to be able to do that,” Woods said.

Police have not released the name of the 17-year-old. Neighbors say he was a very nice young man.

Reed has been charged with criminal homicide, robbery, tampering with evidence, and prohibited possession of a firearm. He was denied bond and is being held at the Northumberland County Jail.

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