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Robbers kill Elkins Park, Pa., man in D.C.

The author and health-care executive was shot, and his wife pistol-whipped, despite giving up money.

This story was originally published in The Inquirer on Tuesday, November 16, 2004.

As gun-toting robbers set upon George F. Longshore, his wife and another couple outside a Washington wedding reception, the Montgomery County businessman threw money at them to leave.

But it wasn’t enough. The robbers shot and killed Longshore, after pistol-whipping his wife and two other guests at a Saturday night wedding.

Police said Longshore, 58, an Elkins Park health-care executive and leader of a Catholic networking and spiritual support group, was shot in the chest by one of the assailants. The robber, along with an undetermined number of accomplices, fled and remained at large yesterday.

Another wedding guest told the Washington Post that he tried giving first aid to Longshore, who initially was conscious and kept asking why he’d been shot when he had given the robbers his money.

The assault occurred outside St. Francis Hall at the Franciscan Monastery in the Brookland neighborhood of Northeast Washington.

Although her nose was broken and she suffered other injuries, Longshore’s wife, Joanne, was able to return home to Elkins Park, said the Rev. William Guerin of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.

Guerin had known Longshore since he was a Catholic school boy in Northeast Philadelphia. The two had founded the Philadelphia Area de Sales Network businessman’s group nearly 20 years ago.

Longshore was “very family oriented,” Guerin said. It was one of Longshore’s two married daughters who called Guerin yesterday morning to tell him the news.

Even though he knows them, Guerin, 75, said he couldn't tell which daughter it was because "she was crying so much, I couldn't be sure. "

Friends and fellow members of the de Sales Network were stunned yesterday when they heard the news.

"Oh my God!" said Robert J. Sims, chairman of Sims Financial Services in Wayne.

"He was a great guy, a wonderful guy, a very giving guy," Sims said, overcome with emotion.

Longshore was a vice president at Catholic Health East in Newtown Square, a health system with hospitals and medical facilities in 11 East Coast states.

He had written the book, Top Docs: Managing the Search for Physician Leaders and frequently spoke to national audiences of management professionals.

Longshore also served on the board of advisors of the De Sales Spirituality Center in Washington and as a trustee of Northeastern Hospital in Philadelphia and De Sales School of Theology in Washington.

"We are deeply saddened by the death of our colleague," Catholic Health East's president Bob Stanek said in a statement.

"As both a friend and co-worker, George was a man of great faith, peace and compassion. . . . We extend our prayers and heartfelt sympathy to the family. "