Staff, wire reports
A Pennsylvania man confronting his estranged wife about custody arrangements for their daughter shot the woman to death and killed her boyfriend and his mother, then fled with the 4-year-old girl before the two were found Saturday in Austintown, authorities said.
Kevin Cleeves, 35, of Waynesboro, Pa., was charged Saturday with three counts of criminal homicide and was awaiting an extradition hearing in the Friday night deaths of 25-year-old Brandi Cleeves, 28-year-old Vincent Santucci and 55-year-old Rosemary Holma.
He is in the Mahoning County Jail. An extradition hearing is scheduled for Monday.
Pennsylvania state police said in an affidavit that Cleeves told relatives he had been trying to contact his wife to make arrangements to pick his daughter up and went to Santucci's house in Quincy Township, Pa., to make sure the girl was safe.
Police said Cleeves saw his wife, Santucci and the girl in a car and confronted the couple in the driveway but was ordered off the property.
Authorities said he then opened fire about 9 p.m. Friday, shooting Santucci in the car and then his wife when she jumped out, and finally the older woman as she ran toward him. Police said he took the girl and fled, later telling authorities he was trying to get to a relative's house in Michigan.
An Amber Alert was issued in which authorities said Cleeves should be considered "armed and dangerous as well as suicidal." The alert was canceled Saturday after police in Austintown said the car was spotted in a hotel parking lot off Interstate 80 and later stopped in the parking lot of the Weston Plaza on Route 46, where Cleeves was arrested without incident. Austintown is about 250 miles from Quincy Township.
Austintown Chief Bob Gavalier said Cleeves had been talking to family members and told them where he was; they in turn contacted Pennsylvania State Police.
Gavalier also said when officers discovered Cleeves was at the hotel, they tried to set up a perimeter and call in the Mahoning Valley Crisis Response Team to help arrest him, but Cleeves drove away, which forced the officers on hand to stop him.
Cleeves drove to Walgreen's on Mahoning Avenue, while police were still watching him.
"Two officers from the law enforcement task force were there at the time and ordered him out of the car," Gavalier said. "He actually put his hand up in the car and was pointing at his daughter, like my daughter's in here. Please don't shoot."
The girl wasn't harmed, but police think she may have witnessed the shooting. She is in the custody of Austintown police for now.
"We're waiting on the Pennsylvania authorities to come up here, and they're probably going to release her to a family member," Gavalier said.
Tribune news partner WYTV-33 contributed to this report.