Murder-suicide near Little Miami High School rocks community

Shooting near school caused lockdown Sunday
Posted at 3:53 PM, Sep 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-12 17:34:39-04

MORROW, Ohio -- A murder-suicide left a divorced couple dead near Little Miami High School Sunday.

Police say David Garrett, 39, shot and killed his ex-wife, Traci Fletcher Garrett, 41, around 2 p.m. Sunday inside of her home in the neighborhood of Hopewell Valley Drive in Hamilton Township. There were two children in the home at the time, one 15-year-old and one 17-year-old.


The boy was able to escape the home and ran to a neighbor who called 911. The girl hid in her bedroom, where she remained on the phone with a 911 dispatcher for nearly an hour as SWAT units handled the situation, police said.

David Garrett, of Maineville, was holding an assault-style rifle in the driveway of the residence when police arrived to the scene. He then told police he had just shot his wife and asked officers to shoot and kill him, according to Hamilton Township Police Chief Scott Hughes.

David then shot himself outside of the residence, according to Hughes.

“There was some sort of an altercation that occurred based on what we’re being told from the children that were inside the house that led up to this horrific act,” Hughes said. “But I don’t know exactly what it was or what it was about.”

Nearby, authorities put Little Miami High School on lockdown.

Darryl Cordey, a witness, said he saw a boy leave the home running and screaming.

"With his pause in body language the boy was distressed,” Cordey said. “There was a pause in shooting for about maybe a half minute or so and then you could hear it going again."

The couple divorced in August 2015. Police do not believe David Garrett was trespassing at the time of the shooting.

Doyle Burke, chief investigator for the Warren County Coroner’s Office, said Traci Fletcher Garrett was shot multiple times, but it is unclear exactly how many shots were fired. Autopsies will be performed Monday.

“We’ll be examining the wounds to see how many entrance wounds there are,” Burke said. “We’ll never know exactly, it’s almost impossible to tell, but we’ll have a good idea.”

Hughes said the children are staying with family.

“They were obviously shaken up,” Hughes said. “This is obviously going to be a traumatic incident for them to have to deal with for the rest of their life, but I guess they were as good as can be expected in such tragedy.”

Grief counselors were on hand at Little Miami schools Monday.

"We're just supporting students however we can, if they need it," Little Miami Schools representative Melinda Briggs said.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation will assist police in the investigation.