When Paul Kuzan stood naked in the doorway of his Northeast Philadelphia home after allegedly shooting his new wife to death with a high-velocity crossbow Sunday night, it was not the first time he'd exposed himself to the neighborhood lately, according to police and residents.
About a week earlier, Kuzan, 41, walked naked to the business plaza across the street from his house on the 3100 block of Willits Road and caused a disturbance inside a mixed martial arts gym, neighbors said. He then walked next door to Anointed Hands Child Development Center and tried to get in there too, said the day care center's owner, Christina Humphrey.
"He said he was going to kill everyone and not even the kids would be safe," Humphrey said. "I was horrified."
Kuzan's newlywed, Pamela Nightlinger, got him back into their house before police arrived, Humphrey said, but that did not ebb her fears.
"When that happened, I thought, 'If they don't get this guy, something will happen,' " Humphrey said.
On Sunday night, something did.
According to police, around 9:20 p.m., following an argument between Kuzan and Nightlinger at their home, Kuzan retrieved a crossbow and shot his wife - whom he had married nine days earlier, on June 17 - once in the chest.
"She was sitting in a chair, the [arrow] actually went through her body, through the chair, and got stuck into the wall," Homicide Capt. James Clark said. "It was a very high-velocity bow."
Following the shooting, Nightlinger, 42, stumbled next door to the house of her neighbor, Margie Maldonado.
Maldonado's 24-year-old son was in the kitchen eating chicken wings when he heard Nightlinger pounding at the kitchen door. Maldonado was upstairs in bed and went rushing down just in time to see her son open the door and Nightlinger collapse into his arms.
"She was gasping for air," Maldonado said. "It was terrible because there was this blood pool all over the place."
When Maldonado looked outside, she said, she saw Nightlinger's husband standing naked in his own doorway.
"He was saying crazy things, things that didn't make any sense," Maldonado recalled. "And then he went back in his house like nothing happened."
Responding officers arrested Kuzan in his home.
"Uniform patrol showed up, he put his hands up and he said, 'I surrender,' to police," Clark said.
On Monday, Kuzan was charged with homicide and related offenses.
Nightlinger, described by neighbors as "sweet," "quiet," and "humble," was pronounced dead at Aria Health-Torresdale Campus at 10:34 p.m. Sunday.
Neither authorities nor the couple's neighbors have been able to say why Kuzan had a crossbow and why he would have used it to shoot his wife.
Clark said police found no other weapons in the couple's house. Kuzan gave a full statement admitting to killing his wife, Clark said.
Neighbors said Kuzan's demeanor had gotten more odd in recent weeks, and before that he had been nothing more than a sometimes-grouchy man who often complained about people blocking his driveway.
Maldonado said Kuzan had told her that the couple had gotten married.
"He said that he was happy," she said.
But on Sunday night, Maldonado said, she heard Kuzan speaking very differently about his wife.
"He started saying that 'She's evil! She's the devil!' " Maldonado said. "But she's a good person. She's a very nice, humble person. She was a nice, humble person, I mean."
Another neighbor said he heard Kuzan screaming, " 'I'm a criminal, I'm going to kill you!' " and a third neighbor said he heard him screaming, " 'I killed her!' "
Kuzan has two children from a previous marriage, and Nightlinger had two daughters, ages 13 and 16.
A relative of Nightlinger's who asked not to be identified said: "On behalf of Pam's daughters, they are grieving the loss of their mother and they are surrounded by the love and support of their family."
Nightlinger had been married to Kuzan so briefly that she had not even had a chance to legally change her last name from her previous marriage, the relative said.
Nightlinger's ex-husband, Jim Nightlinger, 58, the father of her daughters, described his ex-wife as a "beautiful lady" who always wanted to take care of people. He said Kuzan was "not stable" to the point that he would text Jim Nightlinger pretending to be his ex-wife. He also said Kuzan threatened him if he used his driveway to pick up or drop off his kids.
"This guy was a pot ready to boil over," Nightlinger said of Kuzan.
As he mourned the loss of his ex-wife and the mother of his children Monday night, Nightlinger said he had one wish for Kuzan.
"I don't wish death on anybody, but I hope he has to live with this for the rest of his life and he doesn't forget one moment of it," Nightlinger said.