December 21, 2014

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No warning signs before shootings

BRIGHTON TWP. — Red flags that could have indicated a teenage boy was on the verge of violence just weren’t present in 16-year-old Wellington High School student Daniel Petric, according to those who knew him.

The preacher’s son allegedly shot and killed his mother and shot his father in the face Saturday evening.

Daniel Petric in a 2005 yearbook photo

The people who knew Daniel said he was a typical teenage boy who stood out neither academically nor socially. He wasn’t a troublemaker, either.

Instead, the 11th-grader appeared to fly under the radar.

“There was nothing about him that would make us profile him toward violence,” Wellington Superintendent Victor Cardenzana said.

Nonetheless, Daniel is being held at the county juvenile detention center on charges of attempted murder and murder.

“He was a funny guy, liked to rag on the teachers sometimes,” said 16-year-old Aaron Fortier, a 10th-grader at Wellington High School.

“I guess you could call him sort of a class clown. He would do stuff like put a newspaper in front of his face and stick his tongue through a hole just to rag the teachers a little,” said 17-year-old Will Chenoweth, also a 10th-grader.

Daniel arrived at the high school in the 10th grade as a previously home-schooled student. He was an average student with a 2.74 grade-point average, Cardenzana said.

Daniel had previously attended McCormick Middle School.

He was ranked in the middle of his class and was not involved in any sports or extracurricular activities, Cardenzana said.

So, the news that the boy could be capable of such violence has shocked the small town.

Sue Petric, 43, died at home from two gunshot wounds. Her husband, the Rev. Mark Petric, 45, pastor of New Life Assembly of God in Wellington, was shot in the face and was listed in critical condition Monday at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

The couple’s 21-year-old daughter, Heidi Archer, discovered the gruesome scene when she and her husband went to the Brighton Township home to watch the Indians playoff game. But when Archer and her husband arrived, Daniel wouldn’t let them inside.

The couple forced their way in after hearing Mark Petric. Daniel drove off in the family minivan but was found a short time later by Wellington police.

New Life Assembly of God is an evangelical Protestant church that recently purchased property on state Route 58 for a new facility, according to its Web site. Heidi Archer and her husband, Andy, are the youth pastors for the small congregation, where the Rev. Mark Petric took over in 2003, according to the Web site.

Heidi Archer also attended Wellington High School, graduating in 2004. Daniel’s 17-year-old sister is scheduled to graduate in the spring.

Betty Irvan, office manager at Schramm’s Shirts and Cards, has a 15-year-old daughter who went to school with Daniel and a 13-year-old daughter who attended youth group services at the church. She said her youngest daughter has expressed interest in attending Sue Petric’s funeral.

“She couldn’t believe something like that could happen to a person she knew,” Irvan said.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 653-6268 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.