Witnesses Describe Grisly Pre-Meditated Murder in Coudersport Church Shooting

Scene after shooting at Presbyterian Church

COUDERSPORT – Our local community continues to mourn as further information surfaces surrounding the shooting death of Northern Potter music teacher Darlene Sitler at the First United Presbyterian Church in Coudersport on Sunday.

According to witness accounts released by State Police officials, 52-year-old Greg Eldred entered a rear door of the church behind the choir and shot his ex-wife, who was seated at the church organ. Eldred then allegedly exited the church and went to his truck, where one witness stated he placed a handgun on the hood.

Witnesses then say Eldred came back to the church’s side door along 4th Street and demanded to see Sitler. Eldred allegedly told church members, “I want to see her,” and “I want to finish this,” before re-entering the church.

Members of the church attempted to prevent Eldred from re-entering, but according to witnesses he threatened to shoot anyone who got in the way.

Greg Eldred. Photo from Southern Tier Symphony

Eldred is then accused of returning to the organ pit and shooting Sitler again, who was believed to still be alive at the time.

Members of the congregation were then able to wrestle the gun from Eldred, but not before another round went off into the pews.

Eldred was held by members of the congregation until Trooper Delp of the Coudesport-based State Police arrived and took the defendant into custody.

Police said they recovered (1) .40 caliber FNX handgun; (4) .40 caliber spent casings; and (3) discharged rounds – one of which was located in a wooden back of a pew in the rear of the church. Another round was found on a pillow next to the victim’s head.

Sitler died as the result of gunshot wounds to the head and chest, according to police.

CoudyNews is working to obtain more information in the matter, including verifying or debunking the well-circulated rumor that federal investigators were at the Coudersport school on Friday investigating Mr. Eldred.



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  1. Mechelle Peters says:

    I cannot imagine what it must have been like for the parishioners of this church, to witness what they have, especially those who were his students or former students. Sounds like a lot of Post Traumatic Stress cases…I hope that Dickinson is ready for the backlash of this…and you all have my empathy. The laws truly need to be better regarding abuse and stalking…so sad.

  2. Carol says:

    This has PRE-MEDITATED written all over it. His mental state should not be the issue in this case.

  3. Joeys Angel says:

    What a sick person to do something like that to anyone who was very sweet and had alot of nice advice to say. She was my music teacher when i went to Northern Potter Elementary School. She will be dearly thought of and never forgotten. My thoughts and prayers are with the family!!!

  4. Doug Orbaker says:

    I now live and work in Nicaragua, but for several years I was the pastor of this wonderful, loving congregegation. My heart grieves with all of you. We all need to learn more about the violence that builds in homes and in relationships in order to stop the flood of such events. The best tribute we can pay to Darlene’s memory is to help make sure this doens’t happen to anyone else.

  5. Bude58 says:

    I will show as much compassion for Mr. Eldred as he did for the Darlene and the parishioners. I find it impossible to have sympathy for a little worm of a man who threatens and terrifies 70-90 year old members of the Church. By using the church as his location for his cowardly act only proves to me that he wanted attention and notoriety. I hope the members of the church can overcome the crimes of this weak, little man and be able to wipe his memory from their walls. In the meantime, Darlene will live forever in memory and spirit. However, Mr. Eldred will be a nothing, a total zero. What a coward.

  6. Marilynros says:

    Kudos to pastor Evon for her bravery during this appalling event. It will take a great deal of prayer to heal this Christian community. Our prayers are with you all. God bless.

  7. Proutygirl says:

    You are all in my thoughts and prayers

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