Two days after the shooting of Clarence L. “Pete” Short, his driveway was nearly filled with the cars of friends and family, bringing sandwiches and support in light of his passing.
Immediate family members, including his wife Melissa Short and son-in-law Michael Jackson, stood on the brick steps of the Williamsville Road home late Tuesday afternoon, while Short’s son, grandson and a close family friend tried not to get bleach on their clothes as they cleaned blood off the adjacent door.
Short, 72, who was found lying in the yard of his Williamsville Road home shortly after 2 p.m. on Sunday, was transported to Bayhealth-Milford Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead on arrival due to gunshot wounds to the upper torso.
The suspect, Lorenzo Johnson, a tenant in Short’s mother-in-law suite, was found dead in the residence around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Melissa Short said Johnson lived there less than two years.
Delaware State Police homicide detectives are still investigating the incident, and the Short family withheld comment regarding case specifics due to the investigation.
“We’re still learning things,” Melissa Short said.
The family continues to meet with detectives this week.
But it wasn’t Short’s death that preoccupied their thoughts, or any mention of justice.
They laughed about how he got his childhood nickname “Pete” from the family mule, and shared stories of cross-country trips with the grandkids in tow. They mourned for how the next family camp-out would be one member short, and how they were still grieving deeply for the loss of a father, grandfather and husband of 47 years.
When asked if she could share some insight into her husband’s life, Melissa Short was overwhelmed by tears and said there wasn’t enough time in a day to describe her husband.
“He kept us all on our toes, that’s for sure,” she said. “People are being supportive and a bunch of friends are coming to show support.”
Short was the founding minister of the Milford Church of Christ, and his family found comfort in their faith.
“We’re very much grieving, but our hope is in the Lord,” Jackson said. “We’re upset, but we’re at peace. We know the Lord and know we can be together again forever.”
A viewing will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Milford Church of Christ at 1003 S. Dupont Blvd. in Milford. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Christian Church of Seaford at 22581 Sussex Highway in Seaford, followed by a burial at Old Paths Church of Christ at 18246 Redden Road in Georgetown. Jackson said flowers are accepted or donations can be made to the Milford Church of Christ in Short’s honor.