Illinois man shoots girlfriend dead and then kills himself because he feared they had coronavirus
WILL COUNTY, ILLINOIS: A Chicago man shot dead his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself after he mistakenly assumed that they had contracted the deadly novel coronavirus, authorities say.
Deputies were dispatched to an address in the 400th block of Bruce Road in Lockport Township to conduct a welfare check when they discovered the bodies of Patrick Jesernik, 54, and Cheryl Schriefer, 59, according to a statement from the Will County Sheriff's Office.
Authorities found that the duo had each been shot once in the head as they lay in pools of blood in separate rooms at the residence. Both were pronounced dead at the scene, and a loaded revolver was found near Jesernik's body, NBC News reports.
Responding officers noted that the home was "neat and orderly" and that all the doors and windows were locked from inside. Furthermore, authorities found no signs of struggle.
The 911 caller told the police that he was contacted by Jesernik's family who were concerned they had not heard from him in a while and so asked to check on him.
Detectives subsequently checked the address in their systems and found there were no previous calls for service with regards to domestic disputes.
According to the report, Schriefer was having difficulty in breathing — which is one of the characteristic symptoms of the novel coronavirus — but had not received her test results, her family told police.
An autopsy conducted on the couple the following day ruled Schriefer's death a homicide after concluding she was shot in the back of the head at close range.
Meanwhile, Jesernik's death was ruled a suicide after it was found he died as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Having said that, it later emerged that the couple had tested negative for COVID-19.
This comes as President Donald Trump recently warned that if restrictions were not lifted from people’s daily life, worse social consequences could be witnessed like a rise in suicides.
The Trump administration is working towards ending social distancing measures as soon as possible after they were enforced to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus that has put the American populace in jeopardy.
Over 368,449 people have been infected by the virus nationwide while 10,993 have died as of April 7.
Trump is worried about the economic ramifications of the worldwide paralysis, especially in an election year. The prospects of unemployment touching dangerous levels have left the authorities rattled. The President has even stated repeatedly that the “cure should not be worse than the problem."
“You have a tremendous responsibility. We have jobs," the Republican leader recently told reporters at a White House briefing on the pandemic. "People get tremendous anxiety and depression, and you have suicides over things like this when you have terrible economies. You have death probably in far greater numbers than the numbers we are talking about with regard to the virus.”
He said the authorities now have a “double obligation” to tackle the situation, adding that he was working on timelines for the restrictions to be softened.
America has been witnessing indications that people are getting more panicky and unstable amid the lockdown. Recent reports have shown that the purchase of arms and ammunition has gone up all over the US for people have started feeling that things could spiral out of the government’s control and the citizens would then be left to fend for themselves.