Police: Gunman Kills Ex-Girlfriend in Leechburg, Commits Suicide

Article excerpt

A man who was ordered to stay away from his former live-in girlfriend hid behind a fence for hours then fatally ambushed her and wounded her new boyfriend early Saturday before killing himself, police said.

Police were searching Saturday afternoon for the man's current live-in girlfriend in Plum. Her parents heard about the shooting and told police she was missing. Police did not identify the woman.

Police said Jason Daugherty, 30, fatally shot Vanessa Nickzad, 25, of 449 First St., Leechburg and wounded Samuel Walker, 28, of Main Street, Leechburg a few minutes after midnight Saturday.

He then went inside her house, where he once lived, and shot the television set. Police said he then turned the shotgun on himself.

Walker was taken to Allegheny General Hospital on the North Side for pellet wounds to the back of his head, shoulder and neck.

Leechburg police said Nickzad had two children, one with Daugherty.

Police said Nickzad had filed a protection against abuse order against Daugherty stemming from an incident July 28. Authorities said Daugherty confronted Nickzad and Walker while they were in a bar and threatened them with a pistol.

He was to face trial on charges of assault, reckless endangerment, and terroristic threats. Daugherty was released from the Armstrong County jail on Aug. 6 on the condition that he stay out of the county until trial. He was not to have any guns, police said.

Leechburg Police Chief Mike Diebold said Daugherty used a tactical-style, 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun in yesterday's shooting. It had a pistol grip and extended magazine to hold more shells.

"We want to find out where he got the shotgun," Diebold said.

Police found dozens of cigarette butts behind the redwood- stained fence. They said they believed that Daugherty smoked as he lay in waiting for Nickzad. …