Killed in police standoff in Delaware County
Shortly after 4:30 Monday morning and acting on a tip, police in Trainer, Delaware County surrounded the home of Gary and Trish Krobath, at 4334 Post Road, where police believed the man holed up inside was the murderer who killed two victims and seriously injured three others just 30 hours earlier in Douglass Township, Montgomery County.
Mark Richard Geisenheyner, 51, whose last known address was in Upper Pottsgrove Township, fled to the home of acquaintance Gary Krobath on Sunday night and told him about the carnage he brought to the home of Paul and Monica Shay at 50 Renninger Road near Gilbertsville.
Gary Krobath met Geisenheyner in 2001 while they were coworkers at a landscaping company but hadn’t seen or spoke until the spring of 2010 when they ran into each other at a Pottstown area store. It turns out they were living close to each other in that area. A few months later Geisenheyner helped Krobath move to the Trainer home.
According to reports, Geisenheyner had Gary listen to news reports of the Douglass Township shooting then admitted to Gary that he shot five people at the address. Later Sunday night, Geisenheyner and the Krobaths attended a nearby fireworks display.
It is possible Geisenheyner returned to his Upper Pottsgrove home before escaping to Delaware County. Police retrieved what is believed to be the .22-caliber handgun used in the murders from the banks of the Schuylkill River not far from his home.
Killed in the shooting were Joseph Shay, 43, of Yarmouth, Massachusetts and Brooklyn, New York and two-year old Gregory Bosco of Fall River Massachusetts. Seriously injured were the homeowners Paul B., 64, and Monica N. Shay, 58, also of Brooklyn and Gregory’s mother, Kathryn Erdmann, 37.
Several accounts report that Geisenheyner, a career criminal who spent time in the State Correctional Institute at Graterford, had been threatening to rob and kill Paul Shay over an alleged insurance scam incident involving a fire in 2006 at the Renninger Road address and artwork that was reported stolen shortly after the fire.
Later that year, the artwork was found in Geisenheyner’s possession and he was sent back to prison on a parole violation. Geisenheyner claimed he was to be paid by Paul Shay for the taking the artwork after Shay received an insurance payout for it.
Montgomery County DA Risa Vetri Ferman said, “Fifteen months ago, when Geisenheyner got out of prison, he was determined to exact revenge on Paul Shay…He began casing the home three months ago, apparently unbeknownst to the family.”
According to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Geisenheyner also told Gary that he wasn’t going back to prison and that he would go down in a blaze of glory.
Gary and Trish Krobath were married in May of this year and Gary said he feared for their lives while Geisenheyner was in their home. Gary waited until Geisenheyner fell asleep, told Trish to escape to a neighbor’s home, then he called police.
Trainer police and several SWAT teams evacuated neighbors and surrounded the home. During a six-hour standoff, they urged Geisenheyner to surrender during cell phone conversations with the suspected murderer. About 9 a.m., police fired tear-gas into the dwelling trying to force Geisenheyner out. Geisinheyner was armed with a .45 caliber weapon.
Around noon, police fired stun grenades into the home and stormed it, finding Geisenheyner in the basement with the gun. Police fired one shot and Geisenheyner was later pronounced dead.