DETROIT (AP) – Authorities determined Wednesday that a fired maintenance worker fatally shot his ex-girlfriend before turning the gun on himself inside a Detroit medical center as it burned to the ground in a blaze police suspect he set.
The medical examiner’s office confirmed the fears of family members that Sharita Williams, a 35-year-old medical assistant in one of the offices, was killed by 55-year-old Myron Williams, who was fired from his job as the building’s maintenance worker last week.
Both bodies were badly burned when crews digging through the gutted Park Medical Centers building on Detroit’s west side recovered their remains late Tuesday, hours after the fire.
Sarah Bazzi, a spokeswoman for the Wayne County medical examiner’s office, said autopsies showed Sharita Williams suffered multiple gunshot wounds and Myron Williams died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Myron Williams was married, but not to Sharita Williams, who wasn’t related to him.
Antha Williams-Hill, Sharita Williams’ mother, told The Associated Press the couple had been dating for more than a year before the relationship soured. She moved out of the city and changed her telephone number, but eventually her ex-boyfriend caught up with her, Williams-Hill said.
Last week, Sharita Williams was granted a personal protection order against Myron Williams, according to Wayne County Court records.
Williams-Hill said two days earlier, Myron Williams had emailed her sexually explicit photos of her daughter that also were posted on Facebook. The text accompanying the photos read: “How do you like Sharita’s new boyfriend?” her mother said.
On Tuesday morning, tenants and workers at the Park Medical Centers building saw him inside with a gun.
Williams-Hill said one of Sharita’s co-workers was with her when Myron Williams walked into their office. The co-worker described what happened next to Williams-Hill.
“He said, `You think I’m playing with you?'” Williams-Hill said. “He told the other girl, `I think you better get out of here.’ The girl left and said she then heard two shots.”
The sound of the gunshots sent screaming workers and visitors rushing for the doors just moments before the building erupted in flames.
Dr. Stuart Kirschenbaum, a podiatrist who operated his private practice from the building for about 30 years, said he heard a security guard yell that the gunman “had taken Sharita and is shooting at other people in the building.”
Kirschenbaum’s collection of boxing gloves, personal letters and photos of boxing great Joe Louis was destroyed in the blaze. He estimated the items were worth about $100,000.
Associated Press writers Mike Householder and Jeff Karoub contributed to this report.
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