ALTOONA, Pa (WTAJ) — On July 4, 2019, Altoona Police responded to a call from the 15-year-old daughter of a woman who tried to kill her husband, kids, and then herself.
Tracey L. McClellan was taken into custody at her home on N. 10th Ave when officers arrived and saw her standing at the top of the stairs armed with two knives.
Cpl. Vasil and Officer Hanelly of APD approached McClellan who refused to drop the knives while standing near the bathroom where her husband was suffering from the stab wounds. Cpl. Vasil used a taser, causing McClellan to drop the knives and be taken into custody.
It was discovered that McClellan suffers from mental illness and thought that her family was going to be captured and tortured by someone. She told detectives that she decided that she would kill her family and herself to save them from being tortured by others.
She first tried to smother her 9-year-old son with a pillow while he was sleeping. The boy woke up and was able to get away before McClellan comforted him back to sleep. She then got a 13-inch kitchen knife and tried to slit his throat. The child got away with cuts to his neck, fingers, and arm before hiding in a bedroom.
She then went into the bedroom where her husband was sleeping and stabbed him in his face. When he woke, she stabbed him three more times in the back.
The 15-year-old daughter, who was hiding with the 9-year-old was able to call 911.
The husband was taken to UPMC Altoona with life-threatening injuries including a collapsed lung but is now in stable condition. The 9-year-old was treated and released while the 15-year-old was not injured.