Parkland Press

Saturday, April 4, 2020
PRESS PHOTO BY BERNIE O’HARENorthampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek rescued the Mullner family dog. PRESS PHOTO BY BERNIE O’HARENorthampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek rescued the Mullner family dog.

Teacher aide at Parkland High School injured in Lehigh Twp shooting

Thursday, October 12, 2017 by BERNIE O’HARE Special to The Press in Police Log

Melinda “Lyndi” Mullner, an instructional aide for Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21, who works at Parkland High School, was injured on Oct. 4 when John Michael Hann, 61, a cousin of her husband, Joseph F. Mullner, 64, allegedly killed him and shot her.

According to information provided by Parkland’s Director of Community Development and Relations Nicole McGalla, CLIU 21 sent the Flight Team to the high school on Oct. 5 to provide counseling and to handle any grief needs of students and staff.

High School Principal Jim Moniz emailed staff the following statement:

“Please keep Lyndi and her family/friends in your thoughts and prayers during this terrible tragedy,” Moniz wrote.

Hann, of Bushkill Township, was taken into custody Oct. 5 on charges of homicide and attempted homicide filed in connection with a shooting the day before in Lehigh Township.

Melinda Mullner called police at 6:26 p.m. Oct. 4.

Lehigh Township police found her husband’s body in the driveway of their Longacre Drive home.

“We are hoping and praying she recovers,” said Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli during a news conference about the shooting last Thursday.

According to Coroner Zach Lysek, Mullner was shot five times and with two different handguns. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Lysek declined to provide additional details.

There was a third victim as well.

The Mullners’ dog was shot in the foot during the altercation and ran off. Lysek retrieved the dog later that night and took it to a veterinary hospital.

Lehigh Township Police Chief Scott Fogel said the Longacre Drive neighborhood where the shooting occurred is very quiet, but added “something like this can happen anywhere.”

Police were unable to locate Hann at his Bushkill Township home. But on Thursday, Bethlehem Township police spotted Hann leaving a home on Lafayette Drive at 7 a.m.

He was driving a dark-color pickup. His mentally challenged sister was with him, and investigators believe she was with him during the shooting as well.

Though Mullner refused to stop at first, he was surrounded by police cruisers.

“He wasn’t going anywhere,” Morganelli said.

A standoff ensued on Oakland Road, not far from several area schools. While state police negotiators spoke to Mullner, Bethlehem Township issued a Nixle alert to residents, warning them to “shelter in place” along Oakland Road arteries.

In addition to the Nixle alert, lockdowns went into effect at Freedom High School, East Hills Middle School, Bethlehem Vocational-Technical School and Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

State police first convinced Hann to release his sister.

After several hours, the Nixle alert and lockdown were lifted when Hann surrendered.

Hann and his sister were taken to state police headquarters in Belfast for interviews.

According to Morganelli, the motive for the shooting is still unknown, but investigators believe there may have been a dispute between the cousins over financial issues.

Numerous weapons were found inside Hann’s truck, but police declined to say how many.