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Two Dead in Shooting at Restaurant in Columbia County (Applebees in Northeast PA)
WNEP TV ^ | 5/23/2009 | Renie Workman

Posted on 05/23/2009 5:24:15 PM PDT by Born Conservative

Police have identified the two men who lost their lives Friday in the apparent murder-suicide at a restaurant in Columbia County.

Cleaning crews were still at Applebee's restaurant along Route 11 in Bloomsburg hours after two men were killed inside.

Investigators said 35-year-old Thomas Yurko of the Orangeville area walked in the restaurant just after 4 p.m. Friday and shot and killed Mark Wagner, 38, of Bloomsburg. Yurko then took his own life.

Officials said there were many employees and customers inside the restaurant at the time.

"When you go in and sit down to dinner, that would probably be the last thing that you thought of happening and I'm sure everybody at the restaurant was more than shocked," said Nancy Keskowski of Millville.

"Frightened and shocked. It's very, very hard to believe that this could happen in our small community that we live in, especially knowing the people that it happened to," said Jeanett DeBonis of Orangeville.

DeBonis has known the shooter, Thomas Yurko, for about 10 years. She has done business with him and his family and described him as friendly.

"I just can't believe it. I'm still kind of shocked that he would do this. That he was so unhappy that he couldn't handle this," added DeBonis.

Police have not said what led to the deadly shootings.

The president of the company that owns the Applebee's in Bloomsburg said the restaurant is doing everything it can to return to normal quickly.

"We're terribly saddened by what happened and our hearts go out to the families of the individuals. Certainly we're concerned about our employees. We're providing them counseling. Our concern is that they're okay and that we get through this together," said Jeff Warden with the Rose Group.

Warden said the Applebee's along Route 11 in Bloomsburg has been completely cleaned and sanitized. The restaurant reopened around 24 hours after the shootings.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption
KEYWORDS: applebees; banglist; local; markwagner; murdersuicide; shooting; thomasyurko
My wife and I were at another restaurant about 2 miles north of the Applebee's at the time of the shootings; glad we weren't there at the time.

The police initially thought there was a blue getaway car. My teen-aged son's friend happened to be driving a blue car in the area, was pulled over, told to get out of the car, put his hands behind is head, all while having 7 pistols and 3 shotguns aimed at him. The police apologized and explained the situation once they searched him and the car.

1 posted on 05/23/2009 5:24:16 PM PDT by Born Conservative
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To: Born Conservative

Why do these people choose public places to off themselves? Can’t they just stay at home and do it? No sarcasm intended.


2 posted on 05/23/2009 5:29:10 PM PDT by Dallas59 ("You know the one with the big ears? He might be yours, but he ain't my president.")
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To: Born Conservative
Cleaning crews were still at Applebee's restaurant along Route 11 in Bloomsburg hours after two men were killed inside.

That's crackerjack reporting right there. I would have expected Applebee's to just leave a mess right there in the dining area but, fortunately, the tv crew was right there to clear up any misconceptions.

3 posted on 05/23/2009 5:29:12 PM PDT by OrangeHoof (YES WE CAN have a Depression.)
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To: Born Conservative

How scary for your son. Were these PA State Police?

It is shocking that something like this could happen in the sleepy, beautiful college town of Bloomsburg, PA.


4 posted on 05/23/2009 5:29:48 PM PDT by Palladin (Obama hates unborn babies.)
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To: Palladin

It was my son’s friend. I believe a combo of state troopers and locals.


5 posted on 05/23/2009 5:30:57 PM PDT by Born Conservative (Bohicaville: http://bohicaville.wordpress.com/)
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To: OrangeHoof

Ha! That’s typical of Central PA’s TV news coverage. They are definitely amateurs.

Good thing I have cable and can get my news from other sources than WNEP.


6 posted on 05/23/2009 5:31:58 PM PDT by Palladin (Obama hates unborn babies.)
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To: Palladin
It is shocking that something like this could happen in the sleepy, beautiful college town of Bloomsburg, PA.

Very shocking,especially in a town whose newspaper routinely reports citations for urinating in public.

7 posted on 05/23/2009 5:32:43 PM PDT by Born Conservative (Bohicaville: http://bohicaville.wordpress.com/)
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To: Born Conservative

I wonder what the motive was. A lover’s spat? A business argument? A triangle?

Bloomsburg has a wonderful live theater group, it has the Bloomsburg Fair,and it has great antique shops.

If you’re not safe there, you’re not safe anywhere.

I’m just glad the perp had good aim and did not kill any innocent bystanders, as often happens in larger towns with a different kind of population.


8 posted on 05/23/2009 5:39:42 PM PDT by Palladin (Obama hates unborn babies.)
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To: Palladin; All

It could have been like this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luby%27s_massacre

Ever since the massacre at Luby’s, I always sit facing the entrance and know where the exits are when I’m in a restaurant.


9 posted on 05/23/2009 5:43:10 PM PDT by Palladin (Obama hates unborn babies.)
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To: Palladin

I’m guessing a couple of light in the loafers.


10 posted on 05/23/2009 5:45:59 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: Born Conservative

I was up early this AM, ready for a long day of gardening and lawn work at Mom’s. I stoppped at the local Denny’s on the way for some breakfast and coffee. The gal took me to a booth and set the menu down on the table and said she’s be right back with the coffee. She had positioned the menu on the table so that I would be seated with my back to the door of the restaurant. I sat on the opposite side of the booth and turne dthe menu around to face me.

When she returned with the coffee, she had this bewildered look on her face. She asked if there was something wrong and I replied.....”Never seat a single customer with their back to the door.” She asked if I was serious and I said I was.........


11 posted on 05/23/2009 5:49:30 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo (FR. ....Monthly Donors Wanted.)
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To: Palladin

+1


12 posted on 05/23/2009 5:50:30 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo (FR. ....Monthly Donors Wanted.)
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To: knarf; Palladin
I’m guessing a couple of light in the loafers.

Or a wife screwing around and the husband blowing away the boyfriend? (PURE speculation)

13 posted on 05/23/2009 5:50:33 PM PDT by Born Conservative (Bohicaville: http://bohicaville.wordpress.com/)
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To: Born Conservative
Very shocking,especially in a town whose newspaper routinely reports citations for urinating in public.

Yes, but do those urinating fiends make the front page? A few days ago "Police arrest man urinating in bushes at the Sonic" screamed across the Front Page of our local paper.

14 posted on 05/23/2009 6:11:15 PM PDT by sockmonkey
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To: Born Conservative

I was at the buck horn truck stop on my way home up toward Benton.I never knew there was so many Freepers from columbia county PA


15 posted on 05/23/2009 6:53:36 PM PDT by TLEIBY308 (Keep yer powder dry and watch yer top Knot.)
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To: Born Conservative; knarf

Because there is no mention of a dead wife, I’ll go with knarf, since we aren’t burdened with relevant facts.


16 posted on 05/23/2009 6:54:42 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: ButThreeLeftsDo

Keep your back to the wall and your eye on the door.

While your at it, keep your hand on your holster.


17 posted on 05/23/2009 7:05:53 PM PDT by Kickass Conservative (One Man's Messiah is another Man's Fuhrer...)
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To: Palladin
"It could have been like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luby%27s_massacre"

I didn't recall this sad event so I followed the link. Turns out the perpetrator was from Pennsylvania.

There was a time when I was proud to be a Pennsylvanian.

18 posted on 05/23/2009 7:15:16 PM PDT by The Good Doctor (Democracy is the only system where you can vote for a tax that you can avoid the obligation to pay.)
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To: Kickass Conservative

I eat with both hands....

;-)

However, I am always aware of my surroundings.


19 posted on 05/23/2009 7:17:50 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo (FR. ....Monthly Donors Wanted.)
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To: Kickass Conservative

I might be a bit leary of serving coffee to anyone who couldn’t keep their hand off their holster. The restaurant people have no idea if you plan to use the weapon for harm or for good unless you are also wearing a uniform and a badge.


20 posted on 05/23/2009 7:18:36 PM PDT by OrangeHoof (YES WE CAN have a Depression.)
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To: OrangeHoof

Can’t disagree with you there. What do you do if the customer starts cleaning his pistol with his napkin? LOL


21 posted on 05/23/2009 7:22:36 PM PDT by Kickass Conservative (One Man's Messiah is another Man's Fuhrer...)
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To: Born Conservative

While I’m a Delawarean, I’ve friends up there and I’ve eaten there nearly a dozen times in recent years. Pity.


22 posted on 05/23/2009 7:29:30 PM PDT by LenS
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To: ButThreeLeftsDo

Yup.


23 posted on 05/23/2009 7:35:56 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Willful ignorance is a dangerous attitude.)
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To: Palladin

my niece went to Bloomsburg U.


24 posted on 05/24/2009 12:15:59 AM PDT by cherry
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To: Born Conservative

“”When you go in and sit down to dinner, that would probably be the last thing that you thought of happening and I’m sure everybody at the restaurant was more than shocked,” said Nancy Keskowski of Millville.”

Alao, it’s sickening. In a Hollywood movie, a shooting are neat and sanitary. In real life, a shooting make a terible, bloody mess that’s revolting.


25 posted on 05/24/2009 5:25:10 AM PDT by RoadTest (For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus - I Tim 2:5)
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To: Born Conservative

Sounds like the shooter planned on murder. He probably was a decent person and he felt he had to kill this person and then ended his life as punishment. Unless we found out the reason for the murder, all we can is guess.

Maybe there will be followup.


26 posted on 05/24/2009 5:56:53 AM PDT by fernwood (those who sacrifice freedom for safety, get neither)
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To: Palladin
I learned that when I was in the Air Force in the early 1960’s. I also tend to sit with my back to a wall so I will be able to see any danger.
27 posted on 05/24/2009 6:09:07 AM PDT by seemoAR
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To: fernwood; Palladin; knarf; PAR35

I’ll post a followup when available.

I didn’t get the local paper yet, but the headline is “Police: Jealousy Drove Killer” (online edition is subscription only).

http://www.pressenterpriseonline.com/


28 posted on 05/24/2009 7:42:39 AM PDT by Born Conservative (Bohicaville: http://bohicaville.wordpress.com/)
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To: Born Conservative

RIP.


29 posted on 05/24/2009 8:12:17 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps !"~~)
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To: RoadTest

He shot himself in the chin; I’m sure that was very messy.


30 posted on 05/24/2009 1:19:14 PM PDT by Born Conservative (Bohicaville: http://bohicaville.wordpress.com/)
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To: cherry

Is she a nurse? Bloomsburg is known for its excellent Nursing Program.


31 posted on 05/25/2009 12:17:51 PM PDT by Palladin (Obama hates unborn babies.)
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To: Born Conservative

I just heard on the local news that the two guys worked together in construction. It may have been a business dispute.

Also, the victim’s mom and sister were seated there in the booth with him! How awful!


32 posted on 05/26/2009 4:24:11 PM PDT by Palladin (Obama hates unborn babies.)
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To: Born Conservative; All

http://www.wnep.com/news/countybycounty/wnep-col-investigators-answers-murder-suicide,0,3790078.story


33 posted on 05/26/2009 4:26:48 PM PDT by Palladin (Obama hates unborn babies.)
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To: Palladin

Thanks for the update.

Wagner’s sister was sitting alongside him, and apparently a bullet just missed her.

The restaurant opened within 24 hours after the shooting; not sure if many customers showed up.


34 posted on 05/26/2009 7:08:34 PM PDT by Born Conservative (Bohicaville: http://bohicaville.wordpress.com/)
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