Authorities in Illinois said a man who believed his girlfriend was infected with the coronavirus shot and killed her before turning the gun on himself.
Patrick Jesernik, 54, and Cheryl Schriefer, 59, were found dead last week with gunshot wounds to the head at a house in Lockport Township, located about 30 miles southwest of Chicago, when sheriff’s office deputies were sent to conduct a welfare check, according to NBC News.
The couple was not married but had lived together for several years, according to Cathy Hoffmeyer, a spokeswoman for the Will County Sheriff’s Office. The doors of the home were locked from the inside out, causing responding officers to force their way inside.
Family members said that Jesernik was afraid that he and Schriefer had the virus after Schriefer was tested a couple days before the shooting. However, both tested negative for COVID-19 after their deaths.
The sheriff’s office said the majority of service calls it has received since the pandemic are related to crisis intervention and domestic disputes.
“As a reminder, if anyone is a victim of a domestic violence situation, the Will County Courthouse remains open for individuals in need of obtaining an order of protection,” the sheriff’s office said.
The deaths come about a week after police in Pennsylvania said another man shot his girlfriend and then turned the gun on himself after losing his job and becoming increasingly “upset” about the coronavirus pandemic.
In other coronavirus crime, a California train engineer was arrested after he was accused of purposely derailing a train in an attempted attack against the USNS Mercy hospital ship that is docked in Los Angeles.
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