December 22, 2014

Elyria
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Son is only suspect in shootings

BRIGHTON TWP. — Sheriff’s deputies believe the 16-year-old son of a preacher shot and killed his mother and critically injured his father, Lorain County Sheriff’s Capt. Rich Resendez said.Daniel Petric was being held Sunday night in the county juvenile detention center while sheriff’s deputies continue to investigate the shooting death of 43-year-old Sue Petric.

Her husband, the Rev. Mark Petric, 45, pastor of New Life Assembly of God in Wellington, was shot in the face and remained in critical condition Sunday night at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

COURTESY ASSEMBLY OF GOD CHURCH
Sheriff’s deputies believe Daniel Petric, 16, is responsible for the shootings of his father and mother, the Rev. Mark Petric and Sue Petric, at their home.

Daniel is expected to be charged by a magistrate in court this afternoon.

“We believe that Daniel is the sole person responsible for this tragedy,” Resendez said Sunday. “He has given us some details about what occurred and indicated some of his reasoning, but we’re not discussing any motive at this time.”

Deputies were called to the Petrics’ home at 51899 Peck Wadsworth Road in Brighton Township about 6:58 p.m. Saturday by the couple’s 21-year-old daughter, Heidi Archer, Resendez said.

Archer and her husband, Andrew, had gone to her parents’ home to watch the Indians game. When they arrived, however, Daniel stopped the couple at the front door.

“He indicated that he did not want the Archers to come into the residence,” Resendez said.

Heidi Archer pushed past her brother and found her parents slumped and bleeding on two separate couches in the living room of the home, Resendez said. Andrew Archer immediately checked for a pulse on his mother-in-law and, finding none, began performing CPR on Mark Petric.

“We believe that may have saved his life,” Resendez said.

While this was going on, Daniel grabbed the keys to his parents’ Ford Windstar and left, but was pulled over minutes later by Wellington police just a few miles away on South Herrick Avenue after deputies put out an all points bulletin on the vehicle.

During his short drive, Daniel contacted Andrew Archer’s 18-year-old brother, Steven Archer, although Resendez declined to discuss specifics about what was said.

“He made up a story about what happened,” Resendez said. Daniel Petric and Steven Archer had developed a friendship, Resendez said, and deputies believe Daniel was heading to Steven Archer’s home in Litchfield. 

Deputies do not believe Steven Archer was involved in the shootings, Resendez said.

A 9 mm handgun that is believed to have belonged to Mark Petric may have been the murder weapon, Resendez said.

Despite the tragedy, the Assembly of God church on West Avenue held morning and evening services Sunday, with interim pastor and longtime congregant, Joel Soza, at the pulpit. Kathie Stiles, who has attended the church since 1984, said both services were very emotional.

“Everybody had such high esteem for them both,” she said.

Stiles said Sue Petric was very passionate about the church and had a wonderful sense of humor. Her favorite memory is when Sue

Petric brought a remote-controlled whoopie cushion to stir up trouble at a recent church ladies meeting.

“We were becoming close friends,” Stiles said. “We would go to Red Lobster a lot and just talk. Three hours later, we’d still be there, talking.”

The couple had moved from the Columbus area to preach at the church in 2003. For the last eight months, Sue Petric had been working at Webb’s Health Care, a nearby nursing home.

Stiles said all the Petrics’ children would come to church each week, and she never had any indication that Daniel would try to harm his parents.

“We knew them all from church, but how do you know what the family dynamics are?” she said.

The Petrics also have a 17-year-old daughter who was not home at the time of the shooting.

Contact Adam Wright at 653-6257 or awright@chroniclet.com.