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[Editor’s note: This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)]
The Pennsylvania man caught on video ruthlessly gunning down two neighbors during a snow-shoveling dispute Monday before turning the gun on himself was an engineer and a decorated Navy veteran.
Jeffrey Allen Spaide, 47, a Wilkes-Barre native, graduated from Wilkes University with a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering in 2001 and went on to get his master’s degree in water resources and environmental engineering from Villanova University in 2005.
“Jeff was employed as a licensed engineer for over 20 years,” his obituary reads. “He also served in the United States Navy, working as a shipboard engineering technician.”
On his LinkedIn page, which identified him as a “professional engineer,” Spaide cited his active-duty status with the Navy from 1993 through 1998.
Navy officials confirmed Spaide’s service when contacted Friday by The Post. He enlisted in September 1993 and received training in Great Lakes, Illinois. He then served on USS America and USS Nassau, as well as at duty stations in Hampton Roads, Virginia, and Panama City, Florida. His active-duty status ended in May 1998 at a rank of Damage Controlman 2nd Class.
Spaide received numerous awards and decorations during his military career, according to his service record, including a Navy Achievement Medal, a Meritorious Unit Commendation and two National Defense Service Medals.
He also received an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, a NATO Medal and Southwest Asia Service Medal with a Bronze Star, the record shows.
After leaving the Navy, Spaide continued his military service with the Army National Guard and Navy Reserve as a “heavy equipment operator,” according to his obituary.
His LinkedIn page says he joined the National Guard in 1999 before joining the Navy Reserve in 2002.
“Operated bulldozers, loaders, rollers, forklifts, dump trucks and other heavy construction equipment while on active duty and in various reserve training projects,” Spaide wrote of his time with the Navy Reserve.
While on active duty years earlier, Spaide said, he was responsible for maintaining water distribution and fire suppression equipment for the Navy.
The virtual resume also described him as being experienced in wastewater projects, landfills, transfer stations and waste-processing facilities.
He last worked as a facility engineer for the Lackawanna River Basin Sewer Authority in Throop, according to his profile.
Prior to that, Spaide listed himself as an environmental engineer manager for Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection, serving as the chief of its regional permitting section.
In his private time, Spaide enjoyed running marathons and spending time with relatives, especially his nephew Jayden.
“He was a loving son, brother and uncle who will be greatly missed by his family and friends,” his obituary read.
Spaide is survived by his father, two sisters, a brother, and five nieces and nephews. A funeral home in Wilkes-Barre was handling his private service, the death notice said.
Following the carnage Monday, a witness reported seeing Spaide pacing inside his home near a window. He then shot himself as police approached, Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a woman in France who identified herself as a relative of the couple said they didn’t deserve to die “like cattle.”
“Lisa, James, my family, my blood, my cousin, my cousin, you don’t deserve a tragic death like cattle and make headlines sharing your video of the double homicide,” Jess Gimenez, of Bordeaux, wrote on Facebook Friday.
“The citizens out there have no respect and I’m sorry for you both. You will remain forever etched in my heart memories remain but sadness and anger settles in.”
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