Lehigh Valley

Lehigh County neighborhood recovering after frightening weekend

UPPER SAUCON TWP., Pa. - A neighborhood in Lehigh County is trying to move on following a frightening weekend.

A police pursuit turned into an hours-long standoff that ended with a murder-suicide.

The suspects tried to get away any way they could.

"I was watching TV having a pipe and I saw two shadows go across," said Upper Saucon Township resident Eddy Petro.

He didn't know it at the time, but he was about to come face-to-face with an armed and dangerous man.

"I was just about ready to get up to go to the door and the door was open and he came in with a gun. Gun in hand, walked in and he said, 'give me the car keys,'" said Petro.

Petro was looking at Eric Messick, 33. Petro said Emily Fatzinger, 25, was hiding behind a post.

Petro said there was no way he was going to hand over his car, so he made an excuse about not having the keys, and the couple ran out the back door.

It would be one of several close encounters in this neighborhood following a police chase.

Police say a patrolman tried to pull over the couple around noon Saturday, but they wouldn't stop. When their car got stuck, the foot pursuit began.

Investigators say Messick shot at police as the couple ran across a corn field.

The Lehigh County district attorney said the pursuing officer did not return fire, but because he was out in the open, without cover, the officer pulled back.

Police and ERT teams flooded the area looking for the couple and evacuated several homes.

Messick and Fatzinger ran to a nearby neighborhood where they ran into Petro's home.

After stealing his car was a no-go, the couple broke into a home on Lichenwalter Lane.

"At the time the officers approached the home there were three gunshots heard," said Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin. "The ERT team made entry and discovered two deceased persons in the attic."

Autopsies done Monday confirmed Messick shot and killed Fatzinger before turning the gun on himself.

Petro said this story could have had a much different outcome.

He said he has a license to carry a gun, but didn't have it handy. But he said from now on, he will.

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