Police: York Twp. man killed girlfriend outside home, carried her back in

LIZ EVANS SCOLFORO UPDATED: 01/23/2014 03:27:58 PM EST RELATED STORIES Jan 23: York Twp. murder victim recalled as vivacious, compassionate, outgoing A woman murdered by her boyfriend in York Township Tuesday night had fled his home with two other people, but he walked outside with a shotgun and fatally shot her as she sat inside a vehicle, according to police. Jessica Mellinger, 24, of New Freedom, died of a gunshot wound to the chest, according to York County Coroner Pam Gay, who has ruled the young woman's death a homicide. Her killer, 24-year-old John R. Snyder of 525 S. Franklin St., died early Wednesday morning of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, and his death has been ruled a suicide, Gay said. According to York Area Regional Police Sgt. Jeff Dunbar, Mellinger and two residents of the Snyder home fled the home and got inside a vehicle parked in the driveway. Snyder went outside with the shotgun and killed Mellinger, then dragged her body back inside the home, according to Dunbar. The two other people who fled ran to a neighbor's home and called 911, he said. Snyder opened fire on arriving officers as they approached the home about 11 p.m., forcing the officers to take cover, according to Dunbar. Snyder continued to shoot at officers for a period of time, and at one point an officer returned fire when he felt his "position of cover" had been compromised, according to Dunbar. Gay said it appears Snyder's only wound was the self-inflicted one. Police set up a safety perimeter around the home and made contact with Snyder by calling his cell phone. But Snyder ended contact with police about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday -- which is when officers heard the last shots coming from inside, Dunbar said. York County's Quick Response Team, a SWAT-type unit, arrived and took over about 3 a.m., the sergeant said. They entered the home about 4:30 a.m. and found both Mellinger and Snyder dead, Dunbar said. Snyder and Mellinger had been in a domestic dispute prior to her murder, the sergeant said. No autopsies will be performed, Gay said. -- Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com.