Murder-Suicide Leaves Five Children Orphaned Days Before Christmas

A tragic incident unfolded in Greenwood, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday when a man fatally shot his wife before taking his own life, leaving their five children orphaned just days before Christmas. The couple, identified as Blase Raia, 39, and Brooke Raia, 34, were reportedly engaged in a heated argument around 7 p.m. in their home’s basement when the fatal shots were fired, according to Logan Township Police Chief Dave Hoover.

The police chief revealed that Blase shot his wife in the head before turning the gun on himself. At the time of the incident, four of their children were present in the house. The eldest child, who was away at work, returned home half an hour later to discover the horrific scene.

The children, identified as Blakely, Blase Jr., Brennan, Kamden, and Easton, were subsequently interviewed by the police and then released into the care of other family members. Kamden and Easton are Brooke’s children from a previous relationship. The motive behind the tragic murder-suicide remains unclear, with investigators working diligently to rule out the involvement of any other parties.

The news of the incident sent shockwaves through the community, where Blase Raia was known as a friendly individual who worked as a machinist at the Juniata Locomotive Shop of Norfolk Southern. Jim Patterson, a retired employee, remembered Blase as a “nice guy” and a “good worker” who was well-liked by his colleagues.

Blase’s neighbor and family friend, Candy Holliday, who is raising funds for his funeral, described him as a man who loved his children more than anything else in the world. Brooke Raia was employed at a local chiropractic office and also worked at an Amazon warehouse in Altoona, according to her obituary.

The couple, who tied the knot in 2022, were avid racing enthusiasts. Brooke’s father was a renowned motorcycle racer and announcer at a regional speedway, while Blase pursued drag racing as a hobby. In the wake of the tragedy, the racing community has rallied around the children, raising over $56,000 in support.