Hamilton police are continuing to investigate the details of an apparent domestic situation that ended with the deaths of two men Monday night.
Shortly after 7 p.m. Monday, law enforcement officials found one man, later identified as Martin Tyler Ritchie, 31, dead of a gunshot wound in a home in the 900 block of Millville Avenue. Soon after, a police pursuit ended with the suicide by gunshot of Matthew Benjamin Ferris, 23, in the the 1400 block of Boyle Road in Hanover Twp.
Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said the initial investigation indicated the events were a murder-suicide, and that Ritchie was Ferris’ sister’s boyfriend. Ferris was identified by Butler County sheriff’s officials as a suspect in Ritchie’s shooting death.
A woman called 911 dispatchers shortly after 7 p.m. saying she had returned to her home in the 900 block of Millville Avenue and found her boyfriend dead, according to officials.
“He’s dead,” the woman cried. “My boyfriend, he has been shot and I think it was my brother.”
The woman sobbed as she gave the address to the dispatcher and screamed “Tyler, Tyler.” She told dispatchers he had been shot in the head.
Hamilton police found Ritchie dead at the house. He died of gunshot wounds, and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the Butler County Coroner’s Office.
Minutes later, Butler County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Gipson spotted a maroon Malibu turning on to Boyle Road that matched the description of the suspect vehicle broadcast to law enforcement.
After running the plate, dispatchers said they “believe that’s it.” Gipson said he was going to try to stop the car. That didn’t happen.
“He’s not stopping. He just took off,” Gipson said, according to radio traffic released by the sheriff’s office.
Gipson said the suspect vehicle was traveling 70 mph. Then he told dispatchers, “I believe he just shot himself.”
“Get a squad,” Gipson yelled to dispatchers while apparently moving toward the driver.
“Just shot himself, control. He’s bleeding. Shot himself in the head,” Gipson said.
A gun was in the driver’s hand, and another was on the vehicle’s seat, according to the deputy.
As backup officers arrived from Hamilton and the sheriff’s office, officers reported Ferris was still breathing.
But emergency units could not save him. Ferris died before being transported by a medical helicopter. Ferris’ death was ruled a suicide by the county coroner’s office. He died of a gunshot wound.
Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit said Tuesday afternoon a detailed investigation is continuing by detectives. While initial reports indicate the incident was a murder-suicide, the investigation must be completed before making a final determination, Bucheit said.
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.