Rockefeller Township man charged in double homicide

SHAMOKIN DAM — A Mifflinburg man and Trevorton woman who were gunned down just before 8 p.m. Friday, July 10, in the Buffalo Wild Wings parking lot in Monroe Township, Snyder County, were seen embracing moments before being shot, according to a search warrant issued early Saturday morning by District Judge John Gembic, of Shamokin.

Matthew T. Bowersox, 52, of 299 Raven Lane, Mifflinburg, and Heather Sue Campbell, 46, of 836 W. Shamokin St., Trevorton, were identified in a release by Pennsylvania State Police Tpr. Cameron Wolfberg as being killed in the incident.

Christopher Tauren Fernanders, 55, of 1694 State Route 890, Rockefeller Township, Northumberland County, was charged Saturday evening, July 11, as a result of the incident. According to online court records, he has been charged with murder of the first degree (two counts), recklessly endangering another person, discharge of a firearm into occupied structure, stalking, criminal mischief, possession of firearm prohibited, firearms not to be carried without license, possession instrument of crime and contempt for violation of order or agreement.

The warrant issued by Gembic to Tpr. Raymond Snarski III identified Fernanders as the suspect in the shooting. The warrant was issued for a search of Fernanders’ home.

According to the warrant, multiple witnesses reported seeing Bowersox and Campbell embracing in the restaurant’s parking lot.

Witnesses then said a man later identified as Fernanders exited a black Dodge Ram and allegedly started shooting a semi-automatic handgun toward Bowersox and Campbell, who was heard screaming.

Bowersox, the warrant said, was seen running along the front of the restaurant with Fernanders following. Three more shots were then heard.

As Fernanders returned to his vehicle, the warrant said Troy Sprenkle, 49, exited the restaurant and fired three to four shots at Fernanders.

According to Wolfberg’s release, an unidentified restaurant patron intervened in the situation and shot the suspect, causing him to sustain a serious injury.

One witness, Toby Gearheart, told police that when the situation was “neutralized” he, his wife, and other patrons started administering medical assistance to Bowersox and Campbell, the search warrant said.

The warrant also said that on July 1 a temporary protection from abuse order was activated against Fernanders, filed by Campbell.

According to online court records, Fernanders was charged with terroristic threats and harassment as the result of an alleged incident which occurred June 22 in Zerbe Township, Northumberland County.

A post was made Saturday, July 11, on the Art of Living Design Facebook page noting that the business had lost one of its own “family members,” and referenced Bowersox.

“Matt has/had the brightest personality and the biggest heart,” the post read. “His smile. His charm. His charisma. His witty comebacks. His nicknames for us. We will miss all of his endearing qualities.

“He loved his beautiful daughters, and would always speak of them! He was so proud of his girls! Our deepest sympathies go out to his daughters, his parents, his sister, his family members, his friends and his work family at Brookside Homes and Modern Heritage.”

Staff writer Kevin Mertz can be reached at 570-742-9671 or email kevin@standard-journal.com.

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