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Brookeville triple murder victims identified: Neighbor, visitor and contractor

Danny Murphy (L), Mary Olson (C), Craig Shotwell (R)

Neighbors in the quiet Brookeville community are rattled after police identified the three people who were shot and killed Monday afternoon.

“And you hear that, it’s kind of a cliché, ‘You don’t expect that in this neighborhood,’ but we certainly didn’t,” said neighbor Becky Sisson.

Sisson lives just around the corner from the Olsons. Mary Olson, 66, was killed inside her home. She was one of three people shot to death by a man who lives in the same cul-de-sac.

“Pretty much everybody knew to stand clear of him, not try to cross him,” Sisson said about the suspect.

Police believe Christopher Snyder followed his wife to the neighbor’s home when she said she ran away after being held against her will over the weekend. The wife was unharmed but Olson, her 70-year-old friend Danny Murphy, who was visiting from South Dakota and 54-year-old Craig Shotwell were killed.

Shotwell was doing work on the Olson’s house. His home repair work truck was parked in the driveway until early Tuesday evening. According to his company’s website, Shotwell co-owned Your Home Solution, LLC. He has a wife and two children. Police said the family lives in Baltimore County.

Murphy was a retired middle school English teacher who taught from 1969 to 2004. He and his wife, who survived the ambush, were visiting friends in Maryland, ABC7's Kevin Lewis reports.

After the shooting, Snyder barricaded himself in his home for seven hours. With the house surrounded by SWAT teams and while on the phone with crisis negotiator, police said Snyder shot and killed himself.

Sisson last spoke to Olson a few days ago and says she had the “perfect American family. Olson was married with two adult children and her son just moved out.

“You know, empty-nesters now and just trying to figure out what their futures were. It’s a shame, I mean, you just don’t expect that,” she said.

Olson’s younger sister, Louise Tano, said she was a retired family practitioner.

“Mary was a wonderful person, one of the kindest we know. Always volunteering and helping others,” said Tano.

Tano said she is not sure what happened on Monday but that she wouldn’t be surprised if Olson tried to help her neighbor.

“It’s very much in Mary’s character.”

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