December 26, 2014

Elyria
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Suspect in mom’s killing wants to be at her funeral

ELYRIA — A 16-year-old son of a preacher who has been charged with killing his mother and critically injuring his father will learn today if he can attend his mom’s funeral.

An attorney representing Daniel Petric has filed a motion requesting a furlough from the county Juvenile Detention Home so he can attend the funeral for 43-year-old Susan Petric on Saturday, according to a secretary in the office of Juvenile Administrator Doug Messer.

Sheriff’s deputies believe Daniel shot his mother three times — one of which struck her in the head and ended up in her brain.

Another bullet went through both forearms when she apparently threw her arms up as a defense, county coroner Paul Matus said.

His father, the Rev. Mark Petric, pastor at New Life Assembly of God in Wellington, was shot once, although deputies have not indicated where he was injured. Mark Petric, 45, remained in critical condition Thursday night at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Their bodies were discovered last Saturday by their 21-year-old daughter, Heidi Archer, who along with her husband, Andrew, had planned on watching the Indians game with her parents at her parents’ new home on Peck Wadsworth Road in Brighton Township.

When the Archers arrived, Daniel met them on the porch and said they couldn’t go in, Sheriff’s Capt. Rich Resendez said. Heidi

Archer told a 911 dispatcher that she pushed past her brother when she heard her dad make a weird noise, and that’s when she saw the gruesome scene, according to a 911 recording of the call.

Daniel took off in his parents’ minivan, but he was picked up minutes later by a Wellington police officer. During the arrest, Daniel can be heard telling officers that his dad shot his mom before turning the gun on himself, according to footage from a cruiser’s dashboard camera.

Resendez said physical evidence at the scene, as well as Daniel’s confession to the crime during an interview, dispproves the account Daniel gave to the Wellington police.

Deputies are still not releasing a motive, but Resendez has said Daniel and his parents were arguing more often in the weeks leading up to the shooting.  

Daniel’s classmates and teachers have said he never showed any propensity towards violence, and that he was somewhat of a class clown. However, when he was in seventh grade, he told students he had been bringing a gun to school, which later was proven untrue, according to a police report.

For his ninth-grade year, Daniel was home schooled. He returned to Wellington High School to attend 10th grade.

He was very involved in his dad’s church’s youth group, playing drums and helping win competitions with other churches in which he was required to recite from memory passages from the Bible. His sister, Heidi, and her husband were youth ministers at their father’s church.

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