Meleanie Hain sued the sheriff who revoked her gun licence for wearing a loaded pistol at a junior school soccer game.
A mother of three who gained national notoriety after she openly carried a loaded handgun to her daughter’s soccer game has been shot dead by her husband in what police said appears to be a murder-suicide.
Meleanie Hain, 31, and Scott Hain 33, were pronounced dead at 8.30pm last night at their home in Lebanon, a small city about 80 miles (130 km) west of Philadelphia.
Neighbours told the Lebanon Daily News that they saw the couple's three children running from the house and screaming “Daddy shot Mommy!” shortly before the emergency services were alerted at 6.20pm.
Police said that the children, a 10-year-old boy and girls aged 6 and 2, were not hurt. They were taken to stay with friends and relatives.
Mrs Hain made headlines last year after she attended her then 5-year-old daughter’s soccer game in a park on September 11 with her 9mm Glock pistol in plain view holstered on her hip, upsetting other parents.
They complained to the county sheriff, Michael DeLeo, who revoked her gun-carrying permit nine days later. Sheriff DeLeo, a member of the National Rifle Association, said that he had acted out of concern for the safety of children.
In response, Mrs Hain filed a federal lawsuit against Sheriff DeLeo and Lebanon County, claiming $1 million for violating her constitutional rights. She said that thanks to the sheriff's comments, "people think I'm still an idiot". After a hearing in May the case was placed on hold
Meanwhile in October Mrs Hain persuaded Lebanon County Judge Robert Eby to restore her gun permit. Overturning the revocation, the judge questioned her judgment and said that she had “scared the devil" out of other people at the game.
Judge Eby also asked her to conceal her firearm when she went to soccer games, but Mrs Hain said that she would continue to carry it openly under the Second Amendment.
Mrs Hain revealed in December that it was her husband, a parole board officer and former prison warder, who had taught her to shoot. He had been alarmed that all the publicity of the previous months would cost him his job, she said.
Matthew Weisberg, Mrs Hain's lawyer, said that he understood that she had been separated from her husband within the last month and was considering filing a protection-from-abuse order against him when the shooting happened.
He said that the couple had become estranged some time in the past six months. "But there was no indication whatsoever that this was going to occur," added Mr Weisberg, saying that in the last email he received from his client two weeks ago Mrs Hain had shown no signs of anger or stress.
Mark Long, a neighbour, said that the Hains had been having marital problems for about a week. He said Scott Hain had left home on Tuesday, and Meleanie Hain didn’t know where he was, but that he returned yesterday.
Debbie Mise, a neighbour, said she heard a strange sound before the children's screams. "I heard something heavy drop or fall, and then right away I heard the kids screaming, but I thought they were playing. It was loud. But it didn't sound like a pop."
The two bodies were found on different floors. Post mortem examinations on the Hains were due to be conducted tomorrow by Dr Jeffrey Yocum, the Lebanon County Coroner.
"My first reaction was shock and sadness. The second was that it's the truest illustration of irony," said Mr Weisberg. TIMESONLINE
Tags: Gun-toting, soccer, mom, 'shot, dead, by, husband'
Location: Lebanon, Pennsylvania, United States (load item map)
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