PA Dad Shoots Wife, Daughter Dead: Affidavit

A 76-year-old man has been arrested for killing his wife and daughter, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office and the Pennsylvania State Police Avondale announced on Friday afternoon. 

The Hanks home where Roger is accused of killing his wife, Judith, and daughter Emily, according the the Chester County DA. 

The Hanks home where Roger is accused of killing his wife, Judith, and daughter Emily, according the the Chester County DA. 

Photo Credit: Google Maps (Street View)

Roger Lee Hanks originally of Virginia most recently of Kennett Square is accused of shooting his wife and adult daughter during a dispute "in the early evening hours of April 25," as stated in the release. Hanks called someone he knew saying he "went crazy" and  shot his wife Judith and daughter Emily, according to the affidavit of probable cause. That person called 911.

Troopers were sent to the family's home in the 200 block of Wiltshire Drive around 6 p.m. on Thursday, as Daily Voice previously reported. 

They found the mother and daughter unresponsive with gunshot wounds, but rescue efforts failed and they were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the DA. 

Judith and Emily were both shot in the chest in the family's kitchen, as detailed in the affidavit.

The trouble supposedly began after the parents had picked Emily up from the hospital and the trio had a minor disagreement on the way home, as explained in the affidavit citing Hanks and a family member he called after the shooting. 

Then during dinner, the women were eating but Hanks refused to eat. He had also left his Smith and Wesson 2.0 9mm on the table after cleaning it earlier in the day, so when his wife asked him to eat he said, "If you keep this up this thing is going off on you," next he "threatened to put a 'plug' in her" he pointed the gun at her and pulled the trigger, claiming he thought he left the gun unloaded, as detailed in the affidavit.

When Judith collapsed, Emily "went into a rage", her dad told the police according to the affidavit. But she "came at him with vengeance," and he was still holding the gun so he "proceeds to shoot Emily Hanks" too, the police said citing the interview. 

During the interview, Hanks said he was "born with a fishing rod and a gun in his hand" and that "I am one of the best" when talking to police about his shooting abilities according to the affidavit. 

Hanks was found in the home's garage and arrested on the following charges court records show:

  • Felony Criminal Homicide (two counts).
  • Homicide One - Murder of the First Degree (two counts).
  • Felony Murder of the Third Degree. 
  • Felony Discharge of a Firearm into an Occupied Structure (two counts).
  • Misdemeanor Possession of a Weapon. 

His preliminary arrangement was held before Magisterial District Judge Albert Michael Iacocca at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, April 26, according to his court docket. He was denied bail per state law on the charges and has been held in the Chester County Prison.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled before Judge Iacocca at 9 a.m. on May 8, 2024.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Michelle Frei is the assigned prosecutor, according to the DA's office. 

District Attorney Christopher L. de Barrena-Sarobe said, 

“the Defendant senselessly shot and killed his family because of a basic dispute. It is unfathomable that anyone would react this way. I want to thank the Pennsylvania State Police who acted quickly and arrested the Defendant after being dispatched to the scene.”

Anyone with information about this double-deadly shooting is asked to contact the Pennsylvania State Police Avondale at 610-268-2022.

to follow Daily Voice Adams and receive free news updates.