OAK HARBOR, Ohio — A normally sedate part of Ottawa County was stunned Wednesday by news that a Fremont-area man allegedly stormed a two-story farmhouse and shot his estranged wife to death with a 40-caliber handgun.
Randall J. Ross, who spent much of his life in Ottawa County but has a current address listed as Sandusky County Road 265 near Fremont, shot himself twice in the head after killing his wife, Amy Ross, with a single gunshot wound to the chest at about noon Wednesday, according to Ottawa County Sheriff Stephen Levorchick. Mr. Ross, 47, was flown to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, the sheriff said.
The hospital did not release information about his condition late Wednesday.
Authorities said Ms. Ross, 43, was pronounced dead in an upstairs bedroom, where she reportedly ran in an attempt to get away from her husband as he barged through the front door of the Carroll Township home. The township has about 2,000 residents.
According to Ginger Velliquette, a close friend of the victim, Ms. Ross had confided in her recently about a number of times she was abused by her husband. Ms. Ross had moved to the farmhouse at 3121 Leutz Rd., about a month ago to get away from him, Ms. Velliquette said.
The farmhouse is owned and occupied by the victim’s sister, Andrea Swope, and Ms. Swope’s daughter, Summer, an eighth-grader in the Oak Harbor school system, Ms. Velliquette said.
Ms. Swope and her daughter witnessed events inside the house, the sheriff said.
Carroll Township Police Chief Jody Hatfield, the first law enforcement officer on the scene, said he saw Mr. Ross staggering on the driveway, disoriented and bloody from the two gunshot wounds to his head. The police chief said he ordered him down, and that he complied. Paramedics arrived within minutes and called for the transport helicopter as the chief went inside to see if he could help the victim.
“She was the sweetest girl,” Ms. Velliquette told reporters as she sobbed along nearby Fick Road. She described Ms. Ross and Ms. Swope as sisters about a year apart who looked like twins. “Honest to God, they looked like [actress] Brooke Shields,” Ms. Velliquette said.
Ms. Velliquette, 44, of Graytown, Ohio, said she was a roommate of Ms. Ross’ at Bowling Green State University in the early 1990s. She said Ms. Ross was a graduate of Oak Harbor High School, and had been married for at least a decade.
The relationship turned rocky, especially when Mr. Ross had a lengthy period of unemployment, Ms. Velliquette said.
She said she invited Ms. Ross to join her for lunch Wednesday. But she said Ms. Ross sent her a text message reply at 9:56 a.m. in which she stated she was too busy moving more of her belongings into her sister’s house. About two hours later, she was dead.
No charges were filed Wednesday night. Sheriff Levorchick said his detectives will interview Ms. Velliquette and other sources. He said their first priority was to gather physical evidence from the farmhouse. The house lies in the shadows of a famous Ottawa County landmark, the cooling tower at FirstEnergy Corp.’s Davis-Besse nuclear power plant.
Nick Sanchez, 22, who lives across the road from the farmhouse, said he was shocked.
“I expect that sort of thing in Toledo, but not out in the country,” he said.
Ms. Ross was born Amy Beth Mominee. Records show she and Randall Joseph Ross were married June 15, 2001, at a chapel in the Smoky Mountains near Pigeon Forge, Tenn. They previously lived in Ottawa County.
The victim’s parents, Gene Mominee and Sheila Mominee, are residents of Oregon and Oak Harbor, respectively.
Contact Tom Henry at: email@example.com or 419-724-6079.