Police: Former Garnet Valley teacher dies after being shot in the head

Joseph Iavarone is seen here in a Facebook picture sent to FOX 29 by a close friend.

A man has been arrested after police say he shot and killed his neighbor in Delaware County early Sunday morning.

Around 3:30 a.m., officers responded to the 100 block of Bishops Drive, where Joseph Iavarone, 44, was found unresponsive with a gunshot wound to his head. The victim was transported to Crozer Chester Medical Center, where he later died.

John Ballas, 49, was arrested at the scene and charged with criminal homicide, first-degree murder, third-degree murder and possessing an instrument of a crime.

John Ballas, 49, has been charged in connection with the former teacher's death.

Police say Iavarone and Ballas argued just after 3 a.m. Sunday morning after Iavarone is alleged to have threatened Ballas' son. According to a cell phone recording of the alleged confrontation, Iavarone says both "shoot me" and "don't shoot me" before he's shot in the head.

Iavarone is a former teacher from Garnet Valley Middle School. The district said it was shocked to learn of the incident in a statement released by Superintendent Dr. Marc Bertrando.

"Garnet Valley is a close-knit community, and an event such as this one has a profound effect on everyone," the district said in an email to parents.

In addition to teaching physical education for 20 years, Iavarone was a school football and baseball coach.

Counseling services will be available for students, faculty and staff beginning on Tuesday at all Garnet Valley schools.

A GoFundMe has been set up on behalf of Iavarone's family to help pay for funeral expenses.

allas was remanded to Delaware County Prison, where he is being held without bail.