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Archive for Thursday, May 10, 2001

Child witnessed shootings

Ottawa murder-suicide seen by victims’ daughter

May 10, 2001

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— A Franklin County couple's 9-year-old daughter witnessed her father shoot her mother and then turn the gun on himself, authorities said Wednesday.

The girl, daughter of Melissa and Gary Davis, was at home with her 7-year-old brother when their father arrived at the home and killed Melissa Davis, 36, Franklin County Sheriff Craig Davis said. Deputies arriving at the scene shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday found Melissa Davis' body lying in her driveway at 2050 Eisenhower Road, about 3 miles southwest of Ottawa.

Authorities, including a tactical team from the Ottawa Police Department, secured the area and began searching for a suspect. They found estranged husband Gary Davis, 48, lying beside the doorway to a shop north of the mobile home where Melissa Davis lived.

A neighbor called authorities about the shooting after he came upon the two children running along Eisenhower Road. The man had been driving home but stopped to ask the children what was the matter. The girl then told him about the incident and said she had run from the home with her brother after the shootings, the sheriff said.

The case was ruled a murder-suicide, said the sheriff, who wasn't related to the victims.

Authorities had responded on several occasions to the Davis home on domestic abuse reports, and a protection from abuse order had been issued against Gary Davis by the Franklin County District Court. The sheriff declined to comment further on specifics of the incidents.

Gary Davis recently had been living in Gardner, he said.

Four people were at Melissa Davis' home Wednesday, but they declined to identify themselves or to comment on the shootings.

"It's a private matter, and we'd like to keep it that way," one woman said.

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