By Joe Beck
Two men, members of the same family, died of gunshot wounds in a Christmas Eve murder-suicide Monday in the 5100 block of Main Street in Stephens City.
Frederick County Sheriff's Office investigators identified the men as Charles David Jenkins, 56, of Round Hill Park Road, Toms Brook and Burley Dale Puffinberger, 24, of Main Street, Stephens City.
A news release from the sheriff's office said Puffinberger was declared dead in the parking lot of Clem's Garage where he had pursued Jenkins and shot him twice before killing himself with a single gunshot. Authorities said Jenkins was Puffinberger's father-in-law, and the two had an antagonistic history.
Jenkins died of his wounds at Winchester Medical Center later in the evening, according to the news release.
Sheriff's office officials said deputies and Stephens City police were called to the 5100 block at about 5:38 p.m. in response to a report of a shooting in progress and found Jenkins and Puffinberger both shot in the parking lot.
Authorities said witnesses at the scene told deputies that an altercation between Jenkins and Puffinberger escalated, and Puffinberger obtained a semi-automatic handgun from his residence and began firing at Jenkins and two other people, also family members.
The two other people Puffinberger shot at escaped injury, according to investigators.
"They were very fortunate people," said sheriff's office Capt. Allen Sibert.
Authorities said Puffinberger shot himself within seconds after wounding Jenkins.
Investigators from the Stephens City Police Department and the sheriff's office remained at the scene until 11 p.m. The sheriff's office said forensic and ballistic evidence is being analyzed before a final report is completed.
Sibert said investigators counted at least four shots fired by Puffinberger.
Sibert said witnesses told law enforcement officials at the scene that Puffinberger and Jenkins "just didn't get along, basically."
He said the incident began when some family members dropped by Puffinberger's residence "to drop stuff off," words were exchangeheard the situation escalated into violence.
Sibert said the two men were "in each other's faces," but there was no violence until Puffinberger began chasing the others with his gun.
"It sounded like the bad blood between them was boiling, but there was no one real incident that spawned it from what we could see," Sibert said.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org