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MAN WOUNDS EX-GIRLFRIEND, THEN KILLS HIMSELF

A Town of Lockport man shot his ex-girlfriend in the face, then apparently committed suicide when police cornered him in rural Cambria, Niagara County Sheriff's Investigator Raymond Degan said.

Scott R. Hoffman, 23, of 5417 Tonawanda Creek Road, used the same gun to take his own life on Youngstown-Lockport Road in Cambria, investigators said. An autopsy was scheduled today in DeGraff Memorial Hospital in North Tonawanda.

Amanda DePalma, 17, of 337 North Adams St., was being treated for pellet and glass wounds to her face in Lockport Memorial Hospital early today, Degan said.

The incident occurred at 10:25 p.m. Tuesday when Hoffman approached a house at 4109 Lake Avenue and Ms. DePalma answered the door, Degan said. He said Hoffman and Ms. DePalma had broken up a number of months ago but appeared to be on friendly terms. Several hours before the shooting, Hoffman had dinner with Ms. DePalma and other friends at the Lake Avenue address, Degan said.

After shooting Ms. DePalma, Hoffman fled the scene in his car.

He was spotted heading west on Ridge Road by state troopers who followed him at a safe distance until sheriff's deputies and investigators were able to converge on him on Youngstown-Lockport Road in Cambria, Niagara Drug Task Force chief Craig Harmon said.

Boxed in, Hoffman apparently shot himself in the head, Harmon said, after which his car accelerated and traveled a short distance, then struck a tree.

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