A Pennsylvania man allegedly shot his wife in the head following an argument before turning the gun on himself, leaving their five children without parents just five days before Christmas. Blase, 39, and Brooke Raia, 34, were arguing around 7 p.m. in the basement of their Greenwood residence when Blase reportedly fired a handgun at his wife.
He shot her in the head before turning the weapon on himself, Logan Township Police Chief Dave Hoover told the Altoona Mirror. The couple's four younger children were reportedly at home during the alleged murder-suicide incident. Hoover said that the deaths, as of now, appear to be connected to a domestic violence incident.
Just Days Before Christmas
The four younger children were present at home during the apparent murder-suicide. The eldest returned from work approximately half an hour after the tragic incident and found the bodies of his parents, according to Hoover.
The children, identified as daughter Blakely and sons Blase Jr., Brennan, Kamden, and Easton according to Blase's obituary, were interviewed and subsequently placed under the care of other family members.
Kamden and Easton were mentioned as Brooke's children from a previous relationship, according to her obituary.
As of now, the police have not determined a motive and are actively investigating to eliminate the possibility of any involvement by others in the incident.
The community was stunned by the news, recalling Blase Raia as a friendly person who held a position as a machinist at the Juniata Locomotive Shop of Norfolk Southern.
"He was a nice guy, a good worker," Jim Patterson, a retired employee, told the outlet. "He seemed well-liked by his fellow workers."
Community Shocked After Murder-Suicide
Candy Holliday, a family friend and neighbor of Blase's, who is actively raising funds for his funeral, mentioned that he "loved his children more than anything in this world."
According to Hoover, Brooke Raia was employed at a local chiropractic office. Additionally, her obituary indicated that she had worked at the Amazon warehouse in Altoona.
The couple, married in 2022 according to Blase's obituary, were deeply immersed in the racing community. Brooke Raia's father, a famous motorcycle racer, later became an announcer at a regional speedway. Blase pursued drag racing as a hobby.
The racing community has come together to support the orphaned children, raising over $56,000 for them.
"While I'm sure Christmas is the last thing on their minds they deserve our support, they need to know that both the racing community & their family stands behind them," fundraiser Donny Algieri said.