UPDATE: Heated Dispute Turns Deadly in Oil City

| May 26, 2023

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – Additional information has surfaced regarding the series of events that led to the shooting death of an Oil City woman on Wednesday evening.

According to court documents, the Oil City Police Department filed the following criminal charge against 61-year-old Mark D. Redfield, of Oil City, on Thursday, May 25, in Magisterial District Judge Andrew F. Fish’s office:

  • Criminal Homicide, Felony 1

Redfield is lodged in the Venango County Prison with bail denied. The bail action reason was listed as “flight risk. Presumption great of defendant’s culpability.”

According to Venango County Coroner Christina Rugh, the victim was identified as 40-year-old April Michelle Dunkle, of Oil City.

Rugh said Dunkle’s cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head.

Dunkle’s autopsy is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 25.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint released on Thursday, May 25, officers were dispatched to 601 Bissell Avenue in Oil City, Venango County, for a report of an “accidental shooting” around 9:28 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24. Medical personnel from the Oil City Fire Department and Community Ambulance Service were also called to the scene.

A patrolman with Oil City Police Department was the first to arrive at the scene. Upon approaching the porch area of the residence, the officer observed broken glass from the sliding door. He then observed Mark Redfield sitting at the kitchen table with a firearm – which is where the sliding door led to, the complaint states.

According to the complaint, the victim was located at the doorway with blood pooling from her head area.

The officer immediately began providing verbal commands and was able to obtain the firearm and distance it from Redfield. The firearm is described as a 30-06 caliber rifle with a wooden stock, the complaint notes.

Redfield was then detained and removed from the scene. During this time, Redfield made a statement, “she was running her mouth,” the complaint states.

Once the scene was secured, it was obvious the victim was deceased. No life-saving measures took place during this time, the complaint indicates.

Additional officers responded to the scene. Based on the incident and current scene, an officer applied for and received a search warrant for the residence. While the search warrant was being executed, police conducted an interview with Redfield. He was provided his Miranda Warnings which he waived and agreed to speak with officers, the complaint notes.

During the interview, Redfield admitted he and the victim have been associated for approximately 14 years. Leading up to today, he stated that he and the victim had been in multiple verbal disputes, the complaint states.

According to the complaint, on Wednesday, May 24, Redfield and the victim were again involved in a verbal dispute, as well as a dispute over text message. During the dispute, Redfield alleged the victim was calling him names and then began calling other people.

Redfield stated he was concerned whomever the victim was talking to on the phone would cause him bodily harm, the complaint notes.

Redfield then went to his bedroom to retrieve the 30-06 caliber firearm. He walked back to the kitchen table area and had the firearm laying on the table in front of him, the complaint states.

According to the complaint, Redfield went on to state that he and the victim continued to engage in a verbal dispute while he was in possession of the firearm. According to Redfield, the victim called him names and told him he didn’t “have the guts” to shoot her and/or aim the firearm at her.

The complaint states that during the said verbal exchange, Redfield admitted he raised the firearm off the table and aimed it towards her. While holding the firearm in the direction of the victim who was standing across the table from him, Redfield had his finger on the trigger and the firearm discharged.

Upon discharging the firearm, Redfield admitted he was “afraid” and did not check on the victim. Rather, he remained seated at the kitchen table and called 9-1-1 for assistance, the complaint notes.

While conducting the interview, Redfield admitted to traveling to another room and possessing the firearm. While seated at the table, he also admitted to raising the firearm and pointing it at the victim out of anger for her berating him, according to the complaint.

Redfield was arraigned at 12:45 a.m. on Thursday, May 25, in front of District Judge Matthew T. Kirtland.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, June 7, at 1:30 p.m. in Venango County Central Court with Judge Kirtland presiding.

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Category: Local News, News, Police & Fire Calls

Jacob Deemer is a reporter for EYT Media Group, who is based out of Venango County. He started his career as a sports writer for a local newspaper before contributing to TheHockeyWriters.com as a beat writer for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has spent over 6 years covering sports, crime, and local news in Venango, Clarion, and Jefferson Counties.
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