2 Butler County shooting deaths believed to be murder-suicide: What we know now

Hamilton police and Butler County Sheriff’s Office officials are continuing to investigate two shooting deaths on Monday night that officials believe are part of a domestic murder-suicide.

Here’s what we know about the incidents:

The two deaths

Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit says the detectives are continuing to investigate the Millville Avenue fatal shooting Monday night of Martin Tyler Ritchie, apparently by his girlfriend’s brother.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office is also finishing an investigation into the suicide of the suspect minutes later on Boyle Road when a deputy pulled over that suspect’s vehicle and Matthew Benjamin Ferris shot himself in the head as Deputy Mike Gipson approached the car.

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Both agencies say there is no reason to believe that the deaths of the men are anything other than a murder-suicide, but both are doing their due diligence to investigate the incidents.

Apparent domestic situation

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.

Woman called 911 after finding boyfriend

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.

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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.

Suspect shoots himself in front of deputy

Minutes later, 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.

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