police at the scene
A man reportedly shot his estranged wife in the carpark outside her workplace before shooting himself iStock

An estranged couple have been confirmed dead following a shooting at a Penn State satellite campus on Wednesday (13 December) night, police said.

A woman who worked for the university was fatally shot by her estranged husband just before 4pm near a Penn State Beaver dining hall, state police Lt Eric Hermick told WTAE-TV. The man proceeded to shoot himself after killing his wife.

Hermick said an officer heard the shots and screaming and responded to the crime scene. There he found the woman and her husband dead near her car. He said the husband apparently lured the woman to the car park outside her workplace.

Penn Sate Beaver, located about 35 miles (56km) northwest of Pittsburgh, sent an alert about the shooting but said the situation was contained, the Associated Press reported. Hermick said there was never a threat to the general campus population.

"I know there's often panic about college campuses and talk about active shooters, but that's not the situation," he said. "It appears to be some type of domestic violence issue here."

Penn State Beaver spokeswoman April Johnston-Smith said that not many of the school's 650 students were on campus because it is finals week. The campus was closed for the day. It will reopen at 8am on Thursday (14 December), when there will be counselors on site for students, staff and faculty.

"Our entire Penn State community is profoundly saddened by the tragedy at the Beaver campus. Our deepest sympathies go to the victim's family and friends during this very difficult time, and our thoughts and prayers are with the beaver community," Penn State President Eric Barron said.