Tragedy, But Could Have Been Worse

Apparently Melelanie Hain, who you might remember from a year or so ago, was found dead in an apparent murder suicide, after a two hour standoff involving police. The kids are apparently fortunately OK, but I feel for young kids losing both parents. Here’s an account as it happened. Looks like the husband was the shooter, and was a parole officer in Wernersville.

No doubt Brady will be exploiting this tragedy to the max by tomorrow.

UPDATE: Local news channel coverage. They report there was no standoff, and the police arrived on the scene after the fact.

UPDATE: PAFOA Forum thread has several reports of people who say she was concerned about her husband being violent. That would definitely point to the husband being the likely shooter. It’s difficult for me to understand someone staying in that kind of relationship. If you don’t owe it to yourself to get out, you definitely owe it to your kids.

UPDATE: A good point over at PAFOA:

Many of us knew that there were problems for a long time. Many here knew or suspected that their domestic issues were the driving impetus for her interest in guns. Many of us here advised her to leave him and offered her places to stay, and help. This is not in any way to disparage Meleanie, but rather to point out to any and all women in bad domestic situations; you need to get out, get out now. Before it turns into a tragedy.

Meleanie was a great person, mother, activist, advocate, and spokeswoman, and I am proud to say that I knew her. I guess when I get home tonight I’ll look through all my saved PMs, and e mails, and reminisce.

This looks like a very unfortunate case of domestic violence at its worst, and unfortunately, having a firearm is never absolute protection against someone doing you harm.

19 thoughts on “Tragedy, But Could Have Been Worse”

  1. I would want to hear more about this situation before making an opinion. Usually, the man is controlling, not just violent. It appears, in this case, he might have been violent but she was free to do a lot of things so I don’t see the “control” element. (If he had been controlling, she probably wouldn’t have had access to guns because he would have realized that a gun could be used against him.)

  2. Wow. Another gift to the anti-gun bunch. But then, he was a parole officer, and at least here in Colorado parole officers were given LTC’s long before “shall issue” became the law. Seems like the guy who did the shooting was exactly the kind of responsible authority the Anti-gunners want to have guns.

    Ironic on several levels.

  3. The children are now orphaned. I can’t tell if he shot her and then shot himself or he shot her and she shot back. So it could be a double killing or murder suicide. The hardest thing to protect from is a family member because we trust them.

    This is bad for the gun community because it seems a case of live by the gun and die by the gun. But she being disarmed would not have helped either.

    She may have become more confident and less controlled as she developed and he resented it, if he was controlling type. I know that a lot of police officers do kill or abuse their families. Partially high stress and they get used to being obeyed and lose their temper when family won’t.

    We better stand together and support her OC choices since this will be used against us as the unsteady people who should not be trusted with gunsargumnet will arise.

  4. So… looks like the overzealous parent she should have been worried about was living in her own home. And, bonus, the kids get to see gun violence up close and personal.

  5. Little Steve: “Another gift to the anti-gun bunch.”

    I don’t see how. Mrs. Hain is…was a law-abiding person. As far as I can tell, she’s done nothing wrong. Last time I checked, open-carry in PA is perfectly legal, even at soccer games. Her open-carrying may have perturbed some people, but there’s nothing illegal about that, nor really anything to feed to the anti-gun groups.

    Her husband, on the other hand, was in a position of authority and — based on admittedly thin information — seems to have used his authority to cause harm. Since the anti-gun groups tend to claim that nobody except the police and military need guns, I can’t imagine that they’d have much to go on in this case.

    That said, I grieve greatly for the Hain family. This is a bad situation all around.

  6. Az Rifleman:

    It does bolster some of their claims in regards to gun possession, arguments for which are no doubt forthcoming.

  7. Sebastian: Again, I must respectfully disagree — Mr. Hain was a parole officer (or at least that’s what I’ve been lead to believe; correct me if I’m wrong), and would have access to firearms in the course of his duties.

    I fail how any reasonable person could claim that the victim was more likely to be murdered by her husband because she owned firearms. Even if someone could make a claim (and indeed, I’ve seen the claim made several times in the various comments of the PennLive article), I fail to see how any reasonable person could possibly believe it.

    I’ve seen people claim that if Melaine didn’t own firearms, she likely would have been alive today. This makes very little sense to me.

    Clearly, the blame should rest soundly on the perpetrator of the crime and not on the material possessions of the victim.

    1. AZ Rifleman, remember that many of the media reports (other than the local ones) haven’t given any indication that her husband was the first shooter. The police haven’t issued any statement on that because they showed up after it was over. The bodies weren’t even in the same part of the house. The only report we have that he was the shooter stems from one neighbor who says he heard one of the kids say “Daddy shot Mommy.” Not all the reporters have that because, I would presume, most haven’t talked to that neighbor. But reports starting even last night showed that different neighbors heard different things on gun shots (some heard more than one, some heard one, some heard nothing at all, and some said the loud noises they heard didn’t really sound like gun shots) and regarding to the kids (some said they heard them scream, some said it sounded like they were playing, and only one reported the specific statement).

      Her lawyer is now talking to the press and indicating that she at least looked into a restraining order, though it appears she never sought one. Maybe that will tone down some of the comments since it’s not clear to people who haven’t Googled for more information that she wasn’t the shooter. Whether we like it or not, the fact that she conducted many interviews as an advocate, there is simply more information about her being attached to guns. There wasn’t much available for early reports about the husband because he avoided the media.

  8. To clarify: I’m not claiming that anyone here believes that Mrs. Hain’s possession of firearms lead to her murder. Rather, I’m simply saying that I’ve seen other individuals, in other media, make that claim, which I find absurd.

    Just wanted to make sure there was no confusion.

  9. Bitter: You’re correct. I think I may wait for additional details to surface before commenting more.

    That said, I find the people who are dancing in the blood of the slain quite repugnant.

    1. I agree. I would even argue that I don’t expect what we know to change. From the sounds of it, she talked to dozens of people about her concerns about her husband and there is little incentive for that neighbor to lie about what he heard the children say. But, I was just looking at some of the articles and realized that for those who have only read one or two pieces on it, they may be under the wrong impression. Some might argue media bias, but that’s not the case in all of the stories. It’s really a matter of hearsay and trying to establish the facts when few really know what happened.

      And I would add that for those who are actually doing the dancing, there is no excuse because just like there’s no official confirmation that he shot her first, there’s not confirmation that their assumptions are correct, either.

  10. Sadly, I think this tragedy highlights two important things. 1. No one should stay in an abusive domestic situation. As a child who’s mother was physically abused, I have been scarred for life. 2. A gun is not guarantee of protection, but I still maintain it is better to have and not need than need and not have. No one can be on Condition Red 24 hours a day.

  11. So… looks like the overzealous parent she should have been worried about was living in her own home. And, bonus, the kids get to see gun violence up close and personal.

    You’re getting blood on your socks,darling.

    Maybe you could send that as an email to the children?

  12. Haven’t gone far enough in your blog to see if you covered this further but it’s been (almost) confirmed that Mr. Hain pumped 6 shots into her while she was on the webcam with an unidentified male, and then walked upstairs where he shot himself with a shotgun.

    Her backpack, with a fully-loaded glock therein, was but a few feet from her body.

    Interesting that she felt the need to carry at a little kids’ soccer game because of possible domestic violence issues with the husband. The soccer coach who turned her in is said to have known her, but he didn’t know of her marital issues? Some people say he knew or should have known and, due to him being the chief public defender in Lebanan County, should have made a referal to the county agency responsible for reaching out to women in troubled relationships.

    Instead, he complained to the county sheriff. And we all know how that went. Seems like Charlie Jones either did not know the law or turned his back on the law. But he now wants a seat on the bench in the Court of Common Pleas.

    Shouldn’t a judicial candidate know the law? Did his apparent lack of knowledge contribute to the events which lead to Meleanie Hain losing her life?

    1. What do you mean you haven’t gone far enough on the blog? The update post on this is higher up on the blog. Yes, he has covered the situation.

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