EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Neighbors say two men found dead Saturday in their London Court condominium were a friendly, welcoming couple who entertained neighbors and kept their home well-landscaped.
Authorities found Andrew M. Breznitsky and Delbert A. “Del” McKenzie, both 58, shot dead Saturday, according to neighbors, who said police found the front door blocked and had to enter their second-floor unit with a ladder.
Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Jay McKeen said Tuesday the pair died in a murder-suicide.
He said police were called to the complex, near the borders of Egg Harbor Township, Pleasantville and Northfield, about 1:30 p.m. Saturday by a neighbor who noticed accumulating mail and said she hadn’t seen them since Thursday.
Once inside, officers found Breznitsky had been shot in the head, while McKenzie had gunshot wounds to the chest, McKeen said. Police found a small-caliber semiautomatic handgun at the scene.
A Sunday autopsy by the New Jersey State Medical Examiner’s Office and investigations by Egg Harbor Township police and the Prosecutor’s Office concluded McKenzie shot Breznitsky twice in the head, killing him, before fatally shooting himself twice in the chest, McKeen said.
Officials did not indicate what triggered the violence.
Property records show the two had lived in the 831-square-foot, two-bedroom home since November 1984. They put the house on the market in April for $110,000, according to real estate listing sites, but it had not sold.
Both had worked in Atlantic City’s casinos. Breznitsky had been a licensed casino service employee since 1987. McKenzie got a similar license in 1981, but it had since lapsed.
Breznitsky was formerly of Freeland, Pa., about a half-hour south of Wilkes-Barre, according to an online obituary in The Standard Speaker of Hazleton, Pa.
On Tuesday, neighbors mourned the men.
“I can’t even think about it,” friend and neighbor Kim Rose said. “We’re all still in shock.”
Rose, 51, said her landlord introduced her to the couple as she moved in to the complex in 2005. Hardly a day had gone by since, she said, when she didn’t see or talk with one or the other of them.
She said she called police Saturday after not seeing or hearing from them for two days, adding, “I knew there was definitely something wrong.”
Maritza Franco, 67, said Breznitsky and McKenzie greeted practically everyone they saw. They would warmly greet her as she took her trash to the collection units near their homes, she said.
Neighbors welcomed the pair, who had lived as a couple for nearly 30 years, said Barbara Webb, 43.
“We all loved them out here,” she said. “They were always giving and always had something nice to say.”
McKenzie was closest with Rose, Webb said. “He was always telling her how beautiful she is,” she said.
The home on Tuesday was placid and calm. The pair had hung almost a dozen birdhouses of different types from the lower branches of nearby trees, and birds twittered among them. The two had also planted an array of bushes, trees and flowering plants, some of which were in full bloom.
They had even planted three small evergreen trees to conceal a set of blue plastic recycling bins behind their house.
“They took good care of that,” Webb said, walking by the home and leaning in to smell a pink and white flowering bush. “I can’t believe they’re dead.”
McKeen asked that anyone who had relevant information about the deaths call the Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7666.
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