Homicide suspect kills himself in W. Va. 2012.07.25

Written by David Green.

The search for the suspected shooter in a double homicide in Blissfield July 13 ended in rural West Virginia after four days.

U.S. Marshals and Tyler County Sheriff’s Department deputies searched for Thomas Fritz, 38, of Sylvania, Ohio, near the town of Sisterville, W. Va.

When officers arrived Tuesday evening, July 17, at a cabin owned by a man that Fritz once worked for, the suspect was seen running inside the structure while carrying a rifle. A few seconds later a single gunshot was heard.

Officers weren’t sure if Fritz had shot himself or fired at them and waited for a SWAT team to arrive. The team entered the structure and found Fritz dead.

Fritz faced a three-count felony warrant including two counts of open murder and one count of assault with intent to commit murder.

His victims were Morenci graduate Lisa (Burrow) Gritzmaker, 24, and her unborn daughter, and her sister Amy Lynn Merrill, 33, the former girlfriend of Fritz. The girls’ mother, Robin Lynn McCowan, 52, of rural Morenci, was injured in the shooting.

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