Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Palatine, IL: Palatine murder-suicide began as quarrel over dog, police say

February 21, 2011
By Elizabeth Owens-Schiele and Andrea L. Brown, Special to the Tribune
What police said started as a quarrel over a family pet ended in an apparent murder-suicide when a Palatine man shot and killed his daughter's boyfriend and then himself.

Palatine police responded to a disturbance call Sunday night in the 1500 block of East Reynolds Drive to find the body of Edward Kuemper, 49, in the front yard and that of Bradley Morrison, 21, on the front porch.

Police said Kuemper and his wife, Christine, were estranged, and she had been staying elsewhere. When she showed up to retrieve the family's dog, later to be joined by their daughter and Morrison, "Mr. Kuemper refused to give up the pet, and the incident escalated," with shooting Morrison twice with a .40-caliber handgun and then turning it on himself, police said in a statement.

Friends of Morrison and neighbors at the Arlington Heights-area apartment complex where he lived, and where both his girlfriend and her mother were often seen, said he was a young man whose future was starting to take shape.

Shawn Anderson, who met Morrison more than a year ago when both lived in the same Palatine apartment building, said Morrison was working as a pizza deliveryman and had grown close to his teenage girlfriend and her mother.

"He basically had a new family with them," Anderson said. "His future was going to be with them. … He was a real nice guy trying to get his life together."
Tavio Dunlap, a neighbor of Morrison's, called him "a hardworking, good kid."

Dunlap described how Morrison once delivered food to him and told him he could pay Morrison later. When Dunlap later reminded Morrison that he owned Morrison money for the food, Morrison told him not to worry about it.

Neighbors in the Palatine neighborhood where the shooting occurred expressed shock over the turn of events and said the Kuempers were loving and protective parents, though some neighbors said they were aware of tensions between Edward Kuemper and Morrison.
The Cook County medical examiner's office ruled Monday that Morrison died of multiple gunshot wounds, and Kuemper died of a single gunshot in the head.

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