Police say condo shooting domestic-related
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A man fatally shot his ex-girlfriend and their 8-year-old daughter, wounded his mother during a struggle and then killed himself at a Kentucky condominium complex, police said Thursday.
The shooter, Gary Stewart Jr., had a history of making threats against his former girlfriend and once had put a cocked gun to her head, according to the woman’s petition for a protective order in 2010.
“I’m terrified he will seriously kill me to get me out of the way,” Jillian Wood said in the petition. “I need him to have absolutely no contact with me.”
The protective order required him to stay away from her and was in effect from early 2010 until early February this year. The order also had prohibited him from possessing a firearm.
Stewart and Wood were together on Wednesday along with other family members at his uncle’s condominium to swim at the complex’s pool. An argument broke out and the shooting began, said Louisville police Lt. Todd Kessinger.
“We don’t know exactly what made the situation erupt,” he said.
Two other relatives — the former couple’s 12-year-old son and the gunman’s uncle — fled the rampage that police called a premeditated murder-suicide.
Jefferson County Deputy Coroner Rita Taylor identified the two victims as Wood, 36, and her 8-year-old daughter, Shelby Stewart. Both died of multiple gunshot wounds, she said.
Stewart, 40, died of a single gunshot wound to the head, said Deputy Coroner R.D. Jones.
All three died at the scene.
Stewart’s mother, who was not identified by police, was in critical condition Thursday at University of Louisville Hospital, Kessinger said. The woman, described by police as being in her 60s, was shot multiple times, he said.
Police had not found any note left by Stewart.
“We do feel that it was premeditated,” Kessinger said. “They had been together all day long.”
Stewart pulled out a handgun after the argument erupted in his uncle’s condo, Kessinger said.
The gunman shot his ex-girlfriend and then their young daughter, the police spokesman said. During the shootings, Stewart struggled with his mother for the weapon, he said.
“The mother and the uncle tried to confront him and stop it from happening,” he said. “That’s when we believe the mother was shot. It’s at that point that the uncle was able to get the 12-year-old son out of the house.”
Stewart shot himself after his ex-girlfriend, their daughter and his mother were shot and his son and uncle had fled, Kessinger said.
The shootings occurred at the Lakeview Condominum complex near a neighborhood of upper-middle-class homes in Louisville.
In her motion for the protective order, Wood said that Stewart had threatened to shoot her when she picked up their children from a basketball practice where he was an assistant coach. He wanted her to tell him where she lived. When she refused, he replied that he would find out and put a bullet in her head, according to the petition.
“He has threatened to kill me numerous times in the past, but now I believe him,” she said in the complaint.
At one point, he asked a family member to kill her for money, she claimed.
“He threatened me so much that I had to have my number changed,” she said in the petition. “He treats my daughter like a princess and my son like he is in the army. ... In 2001 he put a gun to my head and cocked it. He’s also killed animals and told my children about it.”
In a separate case, Stewart was convicted of fourth-degree assault for attacking a 19-year-old woman in a hospital emergency room in 2011. He was accused of hitting the woman in the face, and when security officers tried to restrain him he fought with them, according to the complaint. The woman was treated for swelling and bruises to her face and had a black eye. She did not know Stewart.
Associated Press Writer Rebecca Yonker in Louisville contributed to this report.