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Published: Wednesday, 7/12/2006

Estranged husband shoots wife, self to death

BY CHRISTINA HALL
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Toledo-area law enforement officers survey the murder scene in the parking lot of Salem West apartments at 2905 Tremainsville Rd. in Toledo yesterday afternoon. Susan Hichborn, 39, was killed with several shots of a handgun by Lawrence Hichborn, from whom she was seeking a divorce and a temporary protective order. Toledo-area law enforement officers survey the murder scene in the parking lot of Salem West apartments at 2905 Tremainsville Rd. in Toledo yesterday afternoon. Susan Hichborn, 39, was killed with several shots of a handgun by Lawrence Hichborn, from whom she was seeking a divorce and a temporary protective order.
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For the second time in two months, a woman has been killed in a domestic murder/suicide in Toledo.

Susan Hichborn was shot yesterday in the parking lot outside her West Toledo apartment building by her estranged husband, Lawrence, who then turned the handgun on himself, police said.

Mrs. Hichborn, 39, who recently moved to Salem West Apartments, 2905 Tremainsville Rd., was pronounced dead at the scene just before 3 p.m. Her husband, 41, of 4516 Haddington Drive, was taken to Toledo Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 30 minutes later, authorities said.

Capt. Ray Carroll said it appeared that Hichborn fired four shots at his wife before shooting himself once in the head outside his pickup at about 3 p.m. Autopsies, which are scheduled for today, will determine how many times Mrs. Hichborn was shot and where she was wounded.

Mrs. Hichborn apparently went to her husband's pickup and was shot. Her mail from her previous address was strewn about the lot, police said.

Mrs. Hichborn's family, who came to the scene, declined comment. Authorities said Mrs. Hichborn has two daughters, ages 16 and 19.

A Toledo man, who declined to be identified, said he pulled into the parking lot to receive a call on his cell phone and was just a few spots away from where the shooting occurred.

While he was talking, he heard what sounded like a backfire three times. He said he got out of his car and saw a woman on the ground. As he turned, he said, he saw a man and a gun fall to the ground.

Though he didn't see the shooting, the man said, "I'm still shaken."

The man said he was talking with a city employee when the shooting occurred, and the employee - whom police identified as assistant chief operating officer and city safety director David Moebius - called 911.

Captain Carroll said the Hichborns were going through a divorce.

Earlier yesterday, police said, Mrs. Hichborn and her father made a police report and tried to obtain a temporary protection order against Hichborn from the municipal prosecutor's office. The father told police the protection order was not issued, but police could not immediately verify that information.

Lucas County Common Pleas Court records show Hichborn was convicted in February, 2001, of attempted carrying a concealed weapon, a fifth-degree felony. He was put on community control for two years. Community control was terminated in November, 2002.

Brian Lambert, 28, who lives across the hall from Mrs. Hichborn, said her apartment had been so quiet since she moved in he thought it was empty. He was surprised to learn of the shootings, and said that while there is security at the building, his girlfriend wants to talk to the landlord about having more.

Last month, a University of Toledo student was shot and killed by her boyfriend of about three years outside his South Toledo apartment.

Michelle Mielecki, 21, was shot seven times by Andrew Brown, also 21 and a UT student, who then killed himself.

Police said they learned through their investigation that Ms. Mielecki intended to break up with Mr. Brown. They did not know if Ms. Mielecki had told Mr. Brown she planned to break up with him before the shootings occurred.

Contact Christina Hall at

chall@theblade.com

or 419-724-6007.



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