A WWJ-AM anchor was killed and four people were hurt during a domestic situation in Chesterfield Township that ended with the attacker trying to kill himself, police said.
WWJ-AM reported on its website that Jim Matthews, the overnight anchor for nearly seven years, was killed in the incident and that his girlfriend and two children were hospitalized Friday night.
“He would often talk to co-workers about his children and his love for them and their adventures at school,” the radio station said in its report.
“He was a consummate professional and was dedicated to WWJ and the broadcasting industry. He loved delivering the latest news to his listeners,” according to the radio station. “There have been many tears shed in our newsroom this afternoon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jim’s family and friends.”
Township police said a 57-year-old man died in the incident at a home in the 33000 block of Bayview on Friday. They said four people were hospitalized: A 54-year-old man; a woman, 35; and two children, ages 5 and 10
Police said the 57-year-old is believed to be the father of the children, and WWJ referred to Matthews' children. The injured 54-year-old is the suspect and was frequently at the home. Authorities are investigating the relationship among all the parties, Township Public Safety Director Brian Bassett said during a news conference.
Authorities did not release any names.
10-year-old found bound and injured in closet
Bassett said authorities received a 911 call about noon at the home, which is off Hooker Road between Callens Road and Jefferson Avenue.
He said the woman escaped with her 5-year-old daughter and a motorist stopped and assisted her. He said that that’s who initially called 911 or allowed the mother to call 911.
Bassett said the mother was suffering stab wounds, and responding police and fire crews began to render aid. Bassett said the girl had some injury, but he declined to release further specifics.
Suspect found in basement wounded; overdose suspected
Additional officers entered the home and found the 57-year-old dead. A 10-year-old boy was found in a closet, bound and suffering from blunt-force trauma, Bassett said.
He said the 54-year-old suspect was found in the basement, suffering from self-inflicted wounds and an apparent overdose. Authorities initially have determined that he was trying to commit suicide, Bassett said.
He said the woman was in critical but stable condition; her daughter was in stable condition; and the boy was in critical condition. The suspect was in stable condition.
Bassett did not disclose the location of or specific type of injuries the victims or suspect suffered.
“Our investigation has determined this is an isolated tragedy that does not present a danger to our community at this time,” Bassett said during the news conference, which was aired on the WYXZ-TV Facebook page.
“The Chesterfield Public Safety Department will not rest until we have received justice for our victims.”
Assistant Prosecutor Steve Fox said the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office will be involved in reviewing any charges, and the office and police will limit what they are allowed to say.
“This is obviously a very tragic and difficult situation,” Fox said.
Bassett said the suspect was welcomed into the home initially and “from that point, it’s still too early to really go into what happened.” He said the suspect came in sometime in the morning and had been there for hours.
When asked whether the suspect had been holding the victims in the home, Bassett said authorities were working on the exact timeline and were not able to release that information.
He said “it’s just too early in the investigation” when asked whether the crimes were spontaneous or premediated or why the boy was bound.
He did not release details on how the woman and her daughter escaped. Bassett said authorities were not going into details about the types of weapons that were involved but said the suspect did not have a gun with him.
Bassett said authorities were not able to release information about whether there was any history of domestic violence or prior calls to the home.
He said authorities worked with Anchor Bay School District to minimize any schoolchildren’s exposure to the incident and that there was never any safety issue for anyone else.
Bassett also encouraged: “if you or your loved ones are involved in or are victims of domestic violence, please reach out. One victim of domestic violence is too many victims of domestic violence.”
Contact Christina Hall: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @challreporter.
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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: WWJ anchor killed, 4 wounded in Chesterfield Township domestic attack