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Man commits suicide after skirmish

May 5, 2014 News Extra

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EAST BRADY, Clarion County — A 26-year-old man committed suicide a short time after breaking into the home of his ex-girlfriend, assaulting her father and shooting her mother early Sunday morning, authorities said.

Bryan David Collar, who was a Karns City High School graduate, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the driveway of his mother’s home in East Brady about 2:40 a.m., shortly after he forced his way into the Second Avenue home where his former girlfriend Kelsey Craig lives with her parents.

But the outcome could have been much worse, state police admitted, if not for the heroic actions of Kelsey’s father, who is credited with risking his life to save his family.

Craig’s brother, 25-year-old Kody Craig, said Kelsey Craig had dated Collar for about six years, but only in the past half-dozen months had the relationship gotten tumultuous.

From a back alley, the suspect reportedly threw a brick through the home’s back door.

The noise woke the family’s 59-year-old mother, Dana Craig, who was sleeping on the couch. Hearing the commotion, the mother ran toward her daughter’s bedroom, which is on the same floor.

As she was running, Collar reportedly fired a rifle. A hunter, Collar missed.

But the blast hit a piece of metal in the wall causing the bullet to fracture. Dana Craig was struck by shards in her thighs, stomach and groin.

The screaming awakened Dana Craig’s husband, 61-year-old Dick Craig, who sidestepped his wife to confront the intruder.

“I didn’t have a choice in the matter. I just did what I had to do,” Dick Craig said. “It was a split-second decision.”

Collar reportedly fired a second shot, again missing.

But as Collar took a second — perhaps to reload his weapon — Craig tussled with him.

Craig, who by that point had his shoulder broken in four places and several broken ribs, hit the intruder with a lamp.

As Craig went for a rifle from his own gun cabinet, Collar fled to his mother’s house on East First Street, where he lived, just four or five blocks away, authorities said.

Police said soon after returning to his home, Collar fatally shot himself in the driveway with a 16-gauge shotgun.

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